Friday, 6 July 2012


Guys students 1957 Entry     Jo Meyer, back row, 3rd from left     (photo courtesy of Rosemary Millis)
    On learning we had passed 2nd MB,   a party in the College;    whisky in my beer, courtesy of John Stanford et al??     Reported to have earnestly advised Rosemary Millis to marry Jim Carmichael before passing out.     Found unconscious in the Anatomy theatre by whom (?); taken to Front Surgery as "dead" but given Nikethemide just in case.    Woke in a cubicle by the lovely night sister with a cup of tea.   When she returned, she found me on the floor diligently wiping the last traces of thrown-up tea from the floor.    I escaped before the daytime dragon came on duty and pushed my bike which seemed to have developed square wheels, home to Camberwell where my flat mates had decorated the place with rolls of loo paper inscribed, “Welcome Herr Doctor”.

        First week on take-in as surgical ward clerk, (Eckhoff etc.) admitted a young lady who died of burns.    Presented the case to Keith Simpson in the mortuary to a full house.    Fear reached unheard of peak.    Collapsed in embarrassment, never to recover when asked what she was wearing. “Her clothes killed her stupid boy”.  

       When Terence lead Guys to cup victory, three of us drove to Twickenham in my two seater 1932 open Austin 7. On the way home with 4 on board we decided to see how often we could circulate Eros at Piccadilly and were stopped by a kindly copper on I think 4th or 5th circuit and told to go home – they don’t dispense justice like that today. 

Subsequently I spent some 40 very happy years doing paediatrics, specially neonatology but also a lot of general stuff, teaching, examining overseas and developing paediatric services in some non-European places

       A one year residency at the Bronx Hospital, NY, in 1966  taught me a bit about the new art of Neonatology.    The rest of junior doctor training in SE - Pembury, Farnborough,  Kings for 3yrs research in neonatology and then St Thomas's.   Consultant at Pembury for nearly 20 years interrupted by several stints in Saudi, (Terance E. visited once!) establishing neonatal services for Bedou in a military hospital as well as teaching and general services; also in North Yemen. (my only case of rabies).

After Pembury to Fiji School of Medicine for two years. Huge clinical load (7000 deliveries/yr) plus most of u/g teaching and examining, plus (the reason the ODA sent me) establishing paediatric post grad. education in S. Pacific region - very exciting, rewarding and instructive in all sorts of ways.
Jo Meyer  -  front row, third from left                    D.C.H. Graduates  -  back row
                                                                                                                                                                        Photo shows, in the back row, seven of the nine first DCH grads from 5 different S Pacific nations. The DCH was the Aus/NZ exam and set and marked by the university of Otago and taken on the same day as candidates from the rest of the S Pacific - several hundred of them. The girl on the back row far left scored second highest marks over all - she went on to do Cardiology at Johns Hopkins.  Best moment of my career!

 Back home, worked at Medway Hospital and did a little teaching and planning for the RCPCH project in Palestine. Also examined for finals at Al Khuds Medical School in Jerusalem and Ghaza where I also taught a little.

Spare time activities - drama (acting, directing, writing); music (clarinet); carpentry, gardening, school gov., ex-church warden and odd-job man, two locally based children's charities for a  Belarus Children's Hospice and for Sri Lanka tea pluckers' children, two acres unmanageable garden, and  BEST OF ALL TEN GRANDCHILDREN.                          Jo Meyer


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