Orthopaedic house surgeon David Choi, 24, works more than 12 hours a day tending to trauma patients with broken bones at Auckland City Hospital.

But when he changes out of his scrubs, Choi pulls out his New Zealand-made Noel Sweetman violin and spends up to an hour "keeping his fingers warm" for solo recitals and concerto performances.

It's something he's always done, competing at high levels both nationally and internationally throughout his years at secondary school and university.

"I love playing the violin and I love music," says Choi. "I think it's a wonderful medium in which a person can engage in creative energy and expression."


Choi started playing when he was 5, and was a semifinalist in the Gisborne International Concerto Competition during his third year studying medicine at the University of Auckland.

This year, as a new doctor, Choi will be performing the challenging Sibelius Violin Concerto with the New Zealand Doctor's Orchestra in Nelson.

He advises prospective medical students to keep up their artistic side. "I would very, very strongly recommend to everyone to try out what they like. Enjoy school and don't focus too hard just on sciences, but think wider and look wide and really develop other passions."