Dr. Justen Dralle

I qualified as a medical doctor over 20 years ago. Early on in my medical career I was inspired by one of the doyens of anaesthesia at Edendale Hospital, and have followed this path ever since.
I strongly believe that wide-ranging experience is essential for any medical professional, and that local and international, rural and city training is key to gaining valuable knowledge and shaping a superb doctor. In light of this I travelled from northern KwaZulu-Natal to Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada; from rural hospitals in South Africa to leading cardiac centres in Germany and Canada. Cumulatively I have spent 5 years working abroad, and together with my 15 years work in South Africa, have the skill set and acumen with which to make thorough clinical decisions.


Cardiac and Thoracic anaesthesia is challenging, and becoming proficient requires training in a high volume centre. I have been privileged to further my training at the Toronto General Hospital in Canada, as a Thoracic Fellow, and more recently at the Leipzig Heart Centre in Germany studying trans-oesophageal echocardiography.
Imaging of the heart during cardiac surgery has become integral to improving surgical and patient outcomes, and I am currently focused on the development of this aspect of my anaesthesia.


I know hospitalisation is a stressful experience, and any theatre visit even more so, but be reassured that 20 years of medical experience will ensure the most vigilant anaesthesia based on modern clinical practice, and this with a distinctly human and caring touch.


In the context of the way modern surgery is practiced there is very little time for consultation and conversation, so I’ve provided some insight into who I am.
I’m very much a local Pietermaritzburg boy, and after many years of study and work abroad, I’m very glad to be back home. A surgical colleague pointed out that I was probably born into the wrong era as I have an inordinate fondness for vintage leather, split-cane fly-fishing rods, tweed flatcaps and pewter hipflasks… and my old Landrover! If not in theatre I will probably be in some far flung corner of the planet, binoculars in hand, chasing a little brown ball of feathers. Or if I’m home it will be spent training my two pointing dogs that I affectionately call my ‘disapointers’, or tying the odd fly to cast the odd fly line.

But mostly, I love to travel with my wife and marvel at the natural wonders of this planet.