Lives of the fellows

James Morison Gardiner

b.5 May 1922 d.19 February 2011
MD Melbourne(1948) FRCP(1970) FRACP FACC

James Morison (‘Jim’) Gardiner was an Australian physician who was responsible for developing new methods for the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac problems in Melbourne. Born in Ballarat, he studied medicine at the University of Melbourne. He did house jobs at the Royal Melbourne Hospital from 1945 to 1947 and then moved to The Alfred Hospital before travelling to the UK in 1948. In London he worked as a registrar at the Brompton Hospital for Consumption and Disease of the Chest.

He returned to Melbourne in 1952 and was Kimpton research scholar at the Baker Medical Research Institute, working on new approaches to the diagnosis of heart disease. With Tom Lowe [Munk’s Roll, Vol.IX, p.324], he introduced cardiac catheterisation and established the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Service in 1953. The following year the service moved to The Alfred Hospital and he was appointed its first director. He held this position for six years, during which time his team worked on the development of cardiopulmonary bypass surgery which led to the first successful open-heart surgery operation in Australia in 1957.

At The Alfred he was an honorary physician, then visiting physician, from 1957 until 1982 when he retired. He was also dean of the clinical school from 1975 to 1978 and was very highly regarded as both teacher and mentor. Many significant advances in the treatment of hypertension could be attributed to his work. Secretary/treasurer (and later president for two years in 1972) of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand, he was also a member of the Board of Censors of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

Outside medicine he enjoyed astronomy, listening to classical music and playing golf.

While a student at the University of Melbourne he had met his future wife, Jenny. When he died from cancer, he was survived by their children, Jamie, Gillian and Christopher.

RCP editor

[Med j Aust – accessed 6 August 2015]

(Volume XII, page web)

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