Dr Dave Baldwin, author of men’s health guide Healthy Bastards, is a GP based in Bulls who operates New Zealand’s first and only Flying Doctor service, providing a medical aviation service to pilots in remote areas of New Zealand (www.flyingdoctor.co.nz). Healthy Bastards is written with a humorous turn reminiscent of that good keen man of New Zealand humour, Barry Crump. The book outlines the main health problems men face, with advice on how to avoid them or deal with them, along with checklists and summaries. There is an accompanying DVD of the same title. Baldwin’s other love besides his wife Sandi is aviation, and he flies a Cessna 172 Hawk XP2 with a CSU and 210hp continental engine.
Dr Dave is presently focusing his ‘Healthy Bastards’ campaign on social media (Facebook and YouTube) as a way of getting good health messages to ‘unhealthy bastards’. He has just won a landmark Advertising Standards Authority complaint (along with an appeal) relating to his ‘Healthy Bastards’ radio advertisements, which has further fuelled his enthusiasm to keep going with the campaign.
GP Pulse called Healthy Bastards a ‘special book’ while M2 commended its ‘plain-speaking response to that clichéd plea, “in English please” ’. The reviewer in Healthy Options lauded its combination of a ‘wonderful witty approach’ with explanations ‘in no uncertain terms [of] common symptoms . . . and when to consult a GP’, before concluding that what sets it apart from other men’s health books is that Baldwin ‘speaks their language and that is a foolproof recipe for success’. Angela Fitchett, reviewing Healthy Bastards in the Nelson Mail, test-ran the book on her ‘large family of mainly “blokes” ’ and concluded: ‘Dr Dave seems to have a winner here — a good buy for any bloke who’s keen on keeping everything in working order for the long haul.’
NZ Aviation News summed up: ‘Healthy Bastards is just like its author — robust, noisy, irreverent, intemperate and funny but with a deep underlying message. Read it. It could change your life for the better.’
The reviewer in Rod & Rifle appreciated the accessibility provided by writing the book ‘around a fictional character called Gav McAvedy, a chopper pilot who flies “hunters, hikers and associated tree huggers around Fiordland and South Westland” ’, whom Pharmacy Today called ‘somewhat disease-prone’.