Immediately post fellowship Dr Richards’ career would have been
purely anaesthetics, however during a spell as anaesthetist in Sweden it was
expected he would be an anaesthetist, intensivist and pain specialist.
The latter appealed most. On return to New Zealand Dr Richards was
privileged to join with Professor RA Boas and Dr Vasu Hatangdi who were
developing a chronic pain service at Auckland Hospital. This was based on the
Seattle multidisciplinary model as espoused by John Bonica.
Recent years has seen Dr Richards working in the Women’s Health
Pain Service Auckland Hospital, being most interested in chronic gynaecological
pain and lumbopelvic pain in pregnancy.
Pelvic Pain: The
Health Pain Team offers an essentially palliative service in conjunction with
the gynaecological service. It is one of several clinics dealing with aspects
of female pelvic pain affecting quality of life. Our value can only come from a
cohesive multidisciplinary approach to pain. I am privileged to be part of that
It is well
understood that female pain conditions have been excluded from many clinical
trials of new analgesic medications, because of their variable and cyclical
nature. Compared to many medical conditions pelvic pain is relatively under
during pregnancy can also lead to much suffering and immobility and we are able
to significantly assist these patients, especially in the multidisciplinary
milieu. There is however the need for added caution when medicating both mother