Lives of the fellows

Joan Beatty Thomasina Logan

b.5 December 1918 d.8 August 2002
MB BCh BAO Belfast(1941) MD(1947) DCH(1948) MRCP(1950) FRCP(1972)

Joan Beatty Thomasina Logan was a consultant paediatrician at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. She was born in a nursing home in Upper Crescent, Belfast, two weeks after her father, John Beatty Logan, a doctor, died of the pandemic influenza at his home in the Dispensary House, Ballynure, County Antrim. He had acquired the infection from his brother, Thomas Stratford Logan, who was assistant medical superintendent at the Buckinghamshire County Asylum, Stone, near Aylesbury. John had attended Thomas in his illness. Joan's mother, Catherine Holland, was a registered nurse trained at the Union Hospital in Belfast. Because the Dispensary House went with the job, the family had to move to Belfast, where they lived for some years before settling on a small family farm at Knocknagulliagh near Whitehead, County Antrim.

Joan was educated in Parkmount School, Belfast, and Carrick Model School, Carrickfergus, before going on to Victoria College, Belfast. Her good marks in her Senior Leaving Certificate, taken in the lower sixth, won her a school prize in English (to the surprise of others in the school) and also directly allowed her to enter Queen's University Belfast to study medicine. She graduated from there in 1941.

After a year as a house officer she volunteered to join the medical branch of the Royal Air Force and rose to the rank of acting squadron leader. She served in a number of stations in England.

After demobilisation, she returned to Belfast, where temporary re-training posts had been created for those coming back from war service. She took her MD by examination in 1947 and obtained her membership of the College in 1950.

She was appointed to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and to the Ulster Hospital for Women and Children. She later transferred most of her routine work to the Ulster Hospital, keeping only one session a week at the Royal Belfast Hospital, for an asthma clinic. She became interested in the treatment of children with severe burns. While the plastic surgeons could operate later, the children had to be resuscitated and treated medically in the early stages, so that they would survive and be fit for surgery. Joan attended a burns course in Birmingham and then undertook this responsibility. She also had one clinic a week in Armagh and Dungannon. The country roads in those days were poor and the driving difficult, particularly in the winter months. While she initially drove a Sunbeam Talbot, she bought a Jaguar in the early 1960s hoping to make the journeys more comfortable but found it unreliable. She was president of the Northern Ireland branch of the Medical Women's Federation.

She enjoyed travelling and, at a time when this was not so common, visited the United States, Europe and Africa. She liked animals and always had a number of dogs, many of them strays. She and her friends had a regular weekly bridge session until illness prevented it. Even before she took early retirement she had joined the Royal Ulster Constabulary Reserve, gaining the RUC Reserve medal. She never married.

J I Logan

(Volume XII, page web)

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