There is another doctor on the national landscape currently vying for the affection of the public.
He is, as National Party leader Judith Collins' refers to him, "Dr Shane."
Not Dr Shane Reti, not Dr Reti. But the more familiar "Dr Shane," as though he were the trusted family GP.
"Dr Shane" is now beaming into living rooms and devices across the country, not as frequently as Dr Ashley Bloomfield, the director general of health and Covid-19 communicator, but as the alternative Health Minister to Chris Hipkins.
"I'm flattered by that," says Reti about his new title. "I take that as a term of endearment."
He is even more flattered by comparison to Bloomfield.
"Someone posted somewhere saying 'we think of you as a Maori Dr Bloomfield' and I thought okay, I'll take that as a term of endearment as well."
Before Collins became leader, he had been commonly referred to within National simply as Doc.
"I think we've now just decided that under Judith's leadership it is 'Dr Shane'."
Reti has had a meteoric rise from the leadership shambles within National, rising from No 31 ranking with tertiary education under Simon Bridges' leadership, to No 17 under Todd Muller's first reshuffle in May, to No 13 under Muller's second reshuffle after a kerfuffle about lack of Maori on the front bench, and then to No 5 and health under Collins' reshuffle last month.
Reti, 57, has been MP for Whangarei for two terms, since 2014, and is seeking re-election.
Having studied at Auckland medical school, Reti practised medicine in Whangarei for 16 years and served for three terms on the Northland District Health Board.
He then worked in the United States for seven years, becoming a Harkness Fellow at the Harvard Medical School and worked in Beth Israel Deaconess medical centre in Boston, a teaching hospital for Harvard.
In his maiden speech, he said he had been born into a state house, the eldest of five children in a working class Maori family whose father had left school at 14 and mother had left school at 15.
He described a sentinel event in his childhood that had shaped his attitude to life, including an example of institutional racism.
"In my student years I would usually study during the day and at night commercial clean with dad, vacuuming floors, cleaning toilets, and dusting blinds.
"One year I asked the administrator whether I could sit not five subjects but six subjects, like all my friends were. I remember the reply: 'No, Shane. You're a Māori boy. You'll do five.'
"My internal response was a call to arms: 'Right. I will show you.'
"My external response was to win the English prize that year. No, not for me six subjects. I was still allowed to sit only five. But many years later, when I was promoted to assistant professor at Harvard, I think I made my point."
"I won, but many Maori do not. The educational aspirations of Maori must never ever be bound by the preconceptions of others," he said.
Reti has been in Wellington since getting a call from deputy leader Gerry Brownlee the day Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that Auckland was going into level 3 lockdown.
"I got note from Gerry saying need you down as soon as possible so my partner and I packed up, about 11.30pm left Whangarei. We were in Auckland about 3am and caught the 6am flight out so we could be here."
Reti is a details person. That much was evident when in 2018 he produced a complex draft bill setting out a detailed regulatory regime for the use of medicinal cannabis.
He worked collaboratively with his predecessor in health, Michael Woodhouse, on the issue of meningococcal and measles vaccines. They put the heat on Pharmac, and on Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter.
Reti's questions to ministers about Covid-19 have been are more clinical than political, and more collaborative than abrasive in style.
Reti featured when Parliament resumed on Tuesday in the midst of the debacle over testing of border staff.
Hipkins and Finance Minister Grant Robertson singled out Reti for praise in some of his media comments – such as no border being 100 per cent watertight - and suggesting National listen to him more.
Reti doesn't see it as them toying with him using divide and rule tactics.
"I would rather be praised than denigrated but what I hope that genuinely reflects is a collaborative mood and tone," Reti said. "That's how I've taken it."
"I see it as my role to – as I call it the two CCs – to critique and to collaborate and so I'm seeing that as them reaching towards me and us saying this is what collaboration looks like in our hands.
"Details matter to me and sometimes I need to remember that my job is to have a helicopter view and think widely across all of New Zealand and widely around the roles we play.
"But I do like to ground myself in the details. If I know the details, there'll never be any surprise. Of course, one can always become submerged in the details."
It was a balancing act. So when he stood alongside Collins for a press conference on National's border policy, he said he needed to know more than anyone else in his area of expertise.
Reti is now shadow Health Minister against one of Ardern's most senior ministers, Chris Hipkins, whom Reti has shadowed previously in tertiary education.
"I find Chris pretty straight actually," says Reti.
They had collaborated on getting a code of pastoral care for tertiary students passed into law and he had open communication with him.
On written questions to ministers, Hipkins had mostly answered on time and without giving him "the run-around."
"I pretty much get an honest answer to an honest question. In return I never ask time and motion questions. I will never consume resource just for the sake of consuming resource.
"My questions have a purpose and a thread rather than just to consume his resource and I think he gives me his honest answers and quite quickly.
"It's a good example of a working relationship."