In Memorium – Dr Karel Hromek

In Memorium – Dr Karel Hromek

It is with great sadness that we share with you the passing of  Dr Karel Hromek, one of the original pioneers of integrative medicine in Australia, who passed away on 14th April 2022 at age 70. He was very active with the Australian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine (ACNEM) including serving as president for many years then as an integral part of the education committee.

Karel, often referred to as Karl, was born in 1952 in Sydney. His parents left Europe after the second world war, his father was Czech and mother was French. Like many refugees of the time his father worked on the Snowy Mountains hydroelectric scheme and Karel attended primary school in Khancoban, NSW.

Karel graduated from the University of NSW with a Bachelor of Science in 1973, majoring in microbiology and ecology. He worked for the NSW Department of Agriculture as a research scientist on the far north coast of NSW. From 1980 he studied medicine at Newcastle University and after graduation he established his first medical practice in Byron Bay in 1989. He later became a Fellow of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM) and also of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.

Karel developed connections throughout the world. In recent years, he helped set up NEM associations in India, Malaysia (SAHAMM) and Thailand (HEAT), regularly teaching doctors in those countries. He was the author of three medical texts: “Injectable Nutrients”, “Handbook of Chelation Therapy” and “Nutrient Summaries” and has had many articles published in the field of NEM and specifically in the ACNEM journal. As an examiner, he had no equal. His reasoning was logical and lateral. His brand of medicine was practical and relatively low cost. He didn’t use too many expensive tests, preferring his scientific acumen.

In his private life Karel was talented with music including writing and singing songs, and making guitars. He enjoyed playing music with his friends in a rock and roll band, he played both guitar and the mandolin. Karel also helped to build his own home and a music studio on the farm where he lived. Before studying medicine Karel had bought a tropical fruit farm at Boogarem Falls in Mullumbimby Creek, where he farmed bananas, avocados, lychees and mangoes. More recently with the help of his daughter Sian, together they grew native finger limes. His avocados are still keenly sought after by local restaurants, and are treasured by those lucky enough to receive a crate.

His humour, happy demeanour through good times and bad, his pragmatism and kindness will endure in the hearts of all the practitioners, patients and all other people he connected with. Karels memory will be maintained with love by his family including his younger sister Dominique, and his children- Daniele, Sian and Michael Hromek.