Lives of the fellows

George Morrison Maxwell

b.27 December 1924 d.17 February 2000
MB ChB Edin(1947) MRCP(1951) MD(1954) MRACP(1967) FRACP(1971) FRCP(1973) FRCP Edin(1988)

George Maxwell was a professor of child health at Adelaide University. He was born in Larbert, Scotland, the son of James Rankin Maxwell, a businessman, and was educated at Falkirk School and Edinburgh University. He held house posts at the Royal East Sussex Hospital, Hastings, and then joined the RAMC as a captain, serving for two years from 1948. He then became a general practitioner. Deciding to specialise in paediatrics, he entered paediatric training at the Royal Hospital of Sick Children and the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh.

From 1952 to 1954 he was a senior resident in paediatrics and then a research fellow in the cardiovascular laboratory at the University of Wisconsin, where he worked on a pioneering cardiac catheterisation project. He was appointed as an assistant professor of paediatrics there in 1954.

In 1959 he became McGregor Reid professor of child health at the University of Adelaide and visiting specialist to the Adelaide Children’s Hospital. He undertook research, pioneered studies in Aboriginal child health and trained students in paediatrics. Five of his students went on to become professors of paediatrics in Australia and New Zealand. As dean of the faculty of medicine in the early 1970s, he shaped the evolution of several new departments in medicine at the University of Adelaide, which soon became recognised as a centre of excellence.

In 1988 he became founding chairman of paediatrics at the University Medical School of the United Arab Emirates in Al Ain. He rapidly built a large and successful department there and was associate dean of the medical school from 1989 until 1993. He then returned to Australia, and worked in general practice at Morphettville Medical Centre, for a further six years.

He married his first wife Sheena in 1947 and they had three daughters, Ailsa, Rowena and Moira. He married Mary in 1980.

RCP editor

[The Advertiser 4 March 200; The Adelaidean 8 May 2000]

(Volume XI, page 387)

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