Otago University's Medical School is Australasia's second oldest -- after Melbourne (1862) and before Sydney (1883) -- and this major history of the school has just been published. Modelled on the Edinburgh School, and operating within a relatively new university when it was founded in 1875, the School had a long struggle for resources in a country that was still establishing its domestic economy. The gold rushes made Otago rich and Provincial Superintendent James Macandrew pushed for the School's establishment. In the following years, often only the vision and determination of individual staff carried it forward. And as the School moved into the twentieth century, the world in which it operated kept changing, with several revolutions in medicine, technology, society and education. While "Anatomy of a Medical School" has to include an account of funding and building, author Dorothy Page has focused on people: the administrators, clinical teachers and researchers, students and graduates. Just how were perpetrators of pranks in Anatomy turned into sober medical practitioners and specialists?
There is a sense in which a medical school is forever made up of its past, as well as its present students, because they carry its teaching and influence out into the world. Otago's graduates include humanitarian activists, war heroes, and political leaders as well as general practitioners and surgeons. And they are to be found on every continent and in most countries. Then there are the firsts: first Maori medical graduate in Te Rangi Hiroa, better known as Sir Peter Buck (1904), first female medical graduate in Emily Siedeberg (1896), first New Zealand woman to register as a medical practitioner in Margaret Cruickshank (1897), first New Zealand-born Governor General in Sir Arthur Porritt. The list goes on. It is impossible for one book to tell the story of the many gifted men and women who, between them, built an institution whose reputation for excellence in research and teaching is yet another Kiwi model of achievement against the odds. As the author says in her introduction, 'It has been an exhilarating journey.'
Buy Anatomy of a Medical School book by Dorothy Page from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(215mm x 280mm x 33mm)
Otago University Press
Publisher: Otago University Press
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Author Biography - Dorothy Page
Dorothy Page was commissioned to write this history on her retirement in 2000. Until then, she was an Associate Professor of History at the University of Otago. With research interests in women's and public history, as well as biography, her pubilcations include The National Council of Women: A Centennial History (1996) and Communities of Women: Historical Perspectives (2002, edited with Barbara Brookes).