Lives of the fellows

Patrick Burnham Fox

b.29 July 1918 d.14 April 2002
MB ChB New Zealand(1944) MRCP Edin(1948) MRCP(1948) FACD(1967) FRCP Edin(1972) FRCP(1974) FRACP(1977)

Patrick Burnham Fox, known as ‘Pat’, was a dermatologist in Auckland, New Zealand. He was born in Masterton, New Zealand, one of five children of Thomas Benjamin Fox, a textile merchant, and Veronica Bridget née O’Brien, the daughter of an officer in the British Army. He grew up in Hastings, and was educated at St Partick’s College, Silversteam. He then entered a seminary at Greenmeadows in Hawke’s Bay, but two years later abandoned his calling as a priest in favour of a medical career. He studied medicine at Otago and graduated in 1944.

He held junior posts at Auckland Hospital. He then went to the UK, where he pursued his studies in dermatology, particularly at St John’s Hospital in London. In 1948 he passed the membership examinations of both the Royal College of Physicians of London and of Edinburgh.

In 1951 he returned to New Zealand, where he worked in private practice, retiring in 1992. He was also a consultant in the public health system: in 1953 he was appointed as a dermatologist at Auckland Hospital and at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital. He was a renowned teacher, and taught at the Auckland branch of Otago University, and later, from 1971, at Auckland Medical School.

He was a foundation fellow of the Australasian College of Dermatologists.

Whilst still at school, he competed in shooting competitions at an international level. He represented Otago University, the province of Otago and New Zealand universities at rugby, and gained New Zealand blues in rugby, shooting and water polo. Later in life, he took up duck shooting, fly-fishing and golf, and was president and patron of the Parnell Swimming Club. He coached the Auckland University rugby team to success in the premier rugby competition.

In 1949 he married Virginia Rosemary née Garland, whom he had met during his early postgraduate years in Auckland. She died in 1999. They had two sons and three daughters. In his later years Pat Fox suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.

RCP editor

[Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh www.rcpe.ac.uk/publications/obituaries/2008/fox.php – accessed 27 May 2010; Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association 7 June 2002, Vol.115, No.1155, www.nzma.org.nz/journal/115-1155/66/ – accessed 27 May 2010]

(Volume XII, page web)

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