Meeting – May 3rd 2018

Meetings of the Society
Auckland Medical History Society




The next meeting of the Auckland Medical History Society will be held in the Ernest and Marion Davis Library at Auckland City Hospital on

Thursday 3 May 2018

The evening will be as follows:

  • 6.00pm: Refreshments will be served in the Ernest and Marion Davis Library
  • 6.30pm: Buffet Dinner will be served in the dining room
  • 7.30pm: Guest presentations*


  1. ‘Setting up New Zealand’s second medical school’     Presented by Prof Linda Bryder
  2. ‘Memories of the first intake’ Presented by Mr Peter Charlesworth
  3. ‘A longitudinal study of Auckland medical graduates – the first 25 years’                                                                                                                          Presented by Prof John Collins


  • Members: $32
  • Non-members and guests: $40
  • Students with ID: $18
  • Glass of wine: $5
  • Bottle of wine: $20
  • Table water and juice are complimentary.

Please pay for your dinner and wine vouchers in advance, then collect the vouchers with your name badge on the night of the dinner.


  • Send the names of attendees to with confirmation that you have made payment to the Auckland Medical History Society account: 02 0160 0237509 00 via the internet, or cheque (made out to the Auckland Medical History Society) and sent toE Holst, AMHS Treasurer, PO Box 482, Orewa 0946  for dinner +/- wine vouchers.
  • If no e-mail access call Diane on 0274 305 326 with the names of attendees, method of payment and your phone number.
  • Final booking time, and cancellations: Please provide your booking details by midday on Mon 30 April.  Cancellations with refund or credit of any payment made will be accepted by phone or email as above until noon on Weds 2 May.  Please pay in advance of the evening so that we can pay our caterers before the event.

*Payment is not required if you are attending the presentations only.

Presenter – Linda Bryder

Linda Bryder was born in Auckland and graduated BA and MA (1st class Hons) at the University of Auckland in History, before proceeding to Oxford on a University Scholarship to undertake a DPhil in the History of Science in 1981. Her thesis, completed in 1985, was published by Oxford University Press, Below the Magic Mountain: A Social History of Tuberculosis in Twentieth-century Britain (1988). That year she returned to the University of Auckland to take up a lectureship in History, and is currently Professor of History at Auckland. She has published widely in the social history of medicine, including important histories of the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society and National Women’s Hospital.


Linda’s presentation will discuss the origins of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland, which she is studying as part of the Faculty’s 50th celebrations. In particular, she will explore the important part played by three key individuals in the foundation of the School: Dr Doris Gordon, Sir Douglas Robb and the first Dean, Professor Cecil Lewis. She will show how it was considered an exciting new venture and how the first cohort of students, admitted in 1968, remarked upon a ‘real buzz’ about the place.

Presenter – Peter Charlesworth 

Peter Charlesworth was born and raised in Auckland and was a member of the inaugural graduating class of the Auckland Medical School.  He completed training for Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Auckland and was the last Chief Surgical Registrar for Professor Eric Nanson, the founding Professor of Surgery at the University of Auckland.  He undertook Post-Fellowship training at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Centre in New York, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and St James’ University Hospital in Leeds, before returning to Auckland to a full-time position as a General and Vascular surgeon at Middlemore Hospital.  Subsequently, he had a variety of part-time consultant posts in Auckland, before entering full-time private surgical practice.  Eventually, he fell out of love with surgery and in 2004 retrained as an antique furniture restorer in Kent, UK, surviving a one-year course more intense than any medical or surgical education he had previously experienced.  Currently, he is Director of the Advanced Clinical Skills Centre, a teaching unit within the Department of Surgery of the University of Auckland, mainly devoted to the simulation training of practical clinical skills for undergraduate medical students.


His talk this evening, entitled “Memories of the First Intake, 1968”, will be a brief summary of selected memories (already fading) of the experience of the inaugural class of the Auckland Medical School, compiled with the aid of recollections of other class members recently canvassed. 


Presenter John Collins

After graduating with distinction from University College Galway, John completed his surgical education and training in England. He was appointed as a general surgeon at Middlemore Hospital and soon after returned to the UK (Leeds) on a Smith & Nephew Commonwealth Scholarship, where he completed his MCH (Master of Surgery). He joined the University of Auckland Department of Surgery and established an academic presence in general surgery at South Auckland Health. His major surgical interests have been in breast surgery and he played a significant role in the setting up and monitoring of breast screening and was the editor of the National Guidelines for the Surgical Management of Breast Cancer. He was a member of the Government Steering Committee for The New Zealand Cancer Control Strategy and a member of the Government Task Force for its implementation. His has had a major interest in medical education and the accreditation of educational institutions at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Based on his research findings, he completed an MD and was awarded a Hunterian Professorship by the Royal College of Surgeons of England. John is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, The Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland and the Academy of Medical Educators UK.

After a hand injury ended his surgical career, he was appointed as the Foundation Dean of Education at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Melbourne and Professorial Fellow in Surgery in the Department of Surgery at the University of Melbourne. He later he moved to the University of Oxford as a Visiting Professor in the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences and Senior Research Visiting Fellow at Green Templeton College and continues to occupy these honorary appointments. While in Oxford, he led the Department of Health review of the UK Foundation Programme and completed a Diploma in the History of Medicine at the Society of Apothecaries (DHMSA). John is a volunteer guide at the Auckland War Memorial Museum and is currently undertaking a PhD in the History of Medicine at the University of Auckland, focusing on ‘the attitudes of surgeons and the experiences of their patients, in early nineteenth-century Britain’.


In 1973, a comprehensive questionnaire was sent to the 1675 Auckland medical graduates who qualified over the period 1973 – 1992. Only 75 graduates were untraceable. 1,238 (74%) of the 1,675 questionnaires were completed and returned. The first section of the questionnaire sought a broad range of information, including the factors that influenced their initial choice of medicine as a career, their personal experiences in medical school, their subsequent medical discipline or career and professional qualifications, the factors that influenced this choice and their level of job satisfaction. The second section focused on stress during the medical school course and the many factors that might have caused this stress. This presentation will describe some of the major findings from this study.