Lives of the fellows

Edward Geoffrey Wade

b.30 March 1919 d.2 June 1999
BSc Manch(1940) MB ChB(1943) MRCP(1947) MD(1952) FRCP(1959)

Geoffrey Wade was a consultant cardiologist in Manchester. He was born in Birkenhead but his father’s career in banking involved a peripatetic existence and so his schooling was irregular. As a compensation for this nomadic early life he found stability in his marriage to Mary Huddart, whom he met in 1934 in Blackpool. They went to Manchester Medical School together from 1937 to 1943, married after graduation and shared 55 years of happiness. In the final MB exam Geoffrey was awarded a distinction in medicine and the Turner medical prize. After a house officer post in Chester, he joined the RAMC serving in India and the Far East, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Returning to civilian life in 1947 he joined the medical unit of J C Bramwell [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VII, p.61] at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, soon obtained the MRCP and decided to specialize in cardiology. The award of the Dickinson medical fellowship enabled him to spend a year in Stockholm and his work there on pulmonary hypertension formed the subject of his MD thesis, awarded with commendation in 1952. After a short period as university lecturer in cardiology he became consultant physician at the Manchester Royal Infirmary and second in command of the University department of cardiology under A M Jones [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VII, p.303]. On the latter’s retirement in 1971, Geoffrey became head of the department until his own retirement in 1984. However, he continued with non-NHS practice for many years until illness forced him to retire.

His period in cardiology saw great changes, including the development of invasive procedures such as angiography, pace-makers and the rise of cardiac surgery. With the support of his colleagues he was able to bring the University department into the new atmosphere and maintain its status and standing established by Bramwell and A M Jones. Geoffrey always remained the complete physician and not just a technician. He was the person his colleagues consulted with their own or family problems.

In spite of a busy practice, he made many contributions to the advancement and understanding of the specialty. He was the author or joint author of over 40 papers on cardiology and contributed chapters to three books. His major interest remained pulmonary hypertension and his presidential address to the section of medicine of the Manchester Medical Society was entitled Pulmonary hypertension - revisited.

He was elected to the Cardiac Society in 1949, was a member of the council from 1974 to 1976 and took the chair at the 1975 meeting. He was elected to the Fellowship of the College in 1959 and served on the council from 1972 to 1975. The Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland made him a member in 1956. Locally he took a great interest in the Manchester Medical Society, serving as secretary from 1959 to 1962, as a council member from 1963 to 1966 and as president of the section of medicine from 1973 to 1974.

He was a tall well dressed man. With his fine mop of hair and ready smile he cut an elegant figure which inspired well deserved confidence. His relations with staff and juniors, patients and colleagues were those of a gentleman and his opinions were valued and respected. Politically he was left of centre and very interested in social affairs.

Yachting was his great interest outside medicine and over the years he owned a number of boats based in North Wales. He had a second home in Nefyn and sailed the waters of the Irish Sea, West Coast of Scotland and Northern France. On retirement from the NHS he studied at Southampton and obtained the Yacht masters’ certificate and his retirement present from his colleagues was navigational equipment for his yacht.

Samuel Oleesky

(Volume XI, page 595)

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