Professor Simon John Mitchell



Simon Mitchell is an anaesthesiologist practicing at Auckland City Hospital and a diving physician providing on-call diving emergency services to North Shore Hospital, Auckland. He is the Head of the Department of Anaesthesiology at the School of Medicine, University of Auckland. He is widely published in his fields of clinical expertise, and the related area of patient safety in the operating room. He serves on the Editorial Boards of 4 scientific journals and holds numerous service and executive roles in external academic societies.  He has been a lifelong passionate diver and was a lead member of teams that were the first to locate, dive and identify 3 deep shipwrecks of high historical significance in Australia and New Zealand. At the time of one of these dives it was the deepest (180m - 600’) ever undertaken to a wreck. His contributions to exploration and the science of diving were recognised by election to Fellowship of the Explorers’ Club of New York in 2006 and receipt of the Rolex Diver of the Year Award in 2015.

Research | Current

Patient safety, WHO Surgical Safety Checklist, pathophysiology of decompression sickness, respiratory physiology in diving, carbon dioxide removal in diving circle circuits. 

Teaching | Current

Pharmacology of anaesthesia, physiology, diving physiology, diving medicine.

Postgraduate supervision

Areas suitable for supervised postgraduate study include: patient safety processes, diving physiology, diving medicine, perioperative neuroprotection, various aspects of general anaesthesia care.


2016: Excellence in Diving Medicine Award, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical    Society (UHMS) (USA)

2015: Divers Alert Network / Rolex Diver of the Year Award (USA)

2014: Eurotek Advanced Diving Technologies Conference Discovery Award (UK)

2012: Inaugural Fellowship in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine, UHMS (USA)

2010: Albert R Behnke Award, UHMS (USA)

2006: Fellowship of the Explorers Club of New York 


Head of Department of Anaesthesiology

Areas of expertise

Anaesthesiology, diving and hyperbaric medicine, patient safety, human factors

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Member of the Research Committee, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists

Chairman of the Diving Committee, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, USA

Executive Member, South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society 

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 12, Room 12081
New Zealand