Lives of the fellows

Kenneth James Grice

b.23 March 1915 d.6 September 1980
MB BS Melb(1939) MRACP(1943) MD(1946) MRCP(1946) FRACP(1952) FRCP(1965)

Kenneth James Grice was the son of JH Grice of Brisbane, Queensland. He was educated at Brisbane Grammar School and Melbourne University, obtaining honours in each division of the medical course and being awarded exhibitions in anatomy and in obstetrics and gynaecology. After one year as resident medical officer to the Royal Melbourne Hospital he joined the Australian Army Medical Corps, with which he served in the Middle East and in New Guinea. In 1946 he was appointed as physician to the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and as a Nuffield travelling fellow he proceeded to the United Kingdom to study cardiology at the National Heart Hospital and the London Hospital.

On return to Melbourne in 1948 he entered private consulting practice with his major interest in cardiology. In 1960 he toured India as a Colombo Plan fellow to advise on the development of cardiology, and in 1967 he visited Papua New Guinea on behalf of the Australian Government to undertake a survey of cardiac disease. From 1961 to 1970 he was a director of the National Heart Foundation. He served also as a visiting physician to the Heidelberg Veteran’s Hospital from 1948 until his death.

Grice was undoubtedly happiest in his role of clinical teacher, especially of undergraduates. His concern for their needs was always apparent, and it was his appointment as dean of the Clinical School at the Royal Melbourne Hospital from 1959 until his retirement for health reasons in 1979 that gave him the greatest satisfaction. For twenty years he was a member of the Faculty of Medicine of Melbourne University and chairman of the Board of Studies of his own clinical school. His influence over years of rapid changes in curriculum content and teaching methods was both wise and far reaching. However, he was always willing to bow to majority decisions and to implement the wishes of his Board of Studies, even if they were not wholly as he had hoped. His counselling of students and young graduates was never done grudgingly, was always compassionate, and never looked for easy ways out of problems if they were not the appropriate ones.

In 1941 he married Dulcie, the daughter of E Olsen of Brisbane. They had one son and one daughter. By nature he was reserved and even shy, and rarely talked about himself. His recreations lay in flyfishing, music and reading. On all of these matters he was a ready and witty talker, but on his own achievements he was totally reticent.

WMcL Rose

(Volume VII, page 230)

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