NAME: Brian Eric Dwyer AM, KCSG
DEAN FROM 1974 – 1976
MB BS (Syd) 1948
DA, RCPS, 1952
DATE OF BIRTH: 9 February 1925
DATE OF DEATH: 7 June 2006
Brian Eric Dwyer was born in Sydney on 9 February, 1925. He completed his formal schooling at St Joseph’s College in 1942, and continued his education at the University of Sydney, where he studied medicine. Dwyer graduated MB BS in 1948. Dwyer was a pioneer in anaesthetics, intensive care and pain management in Australia. He was elected Dean of the Faculty of Anaesthetics of the Royal Australasian College of Anaesthetists in 1974, and received many awards and accolades throughout his career.
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In 1962, Dwyer became the inaugural chair of the St Vincent’s Pain Clinic, the first pain management clinic outside of the USA. Modelled on the multidisciplinary clinic established just two years earlier by John Bonica, the clinic included support from two neurosurgeons, a neurologist and a psychiatrist.
In 1963, he established the intensive care unit at St Vincent’s. Dwyer’s commitment to pain treatment continued throughout his entire career and, in 1982, he introduced the first specialist palliative care services to the St Vincent’s Hospital.
Dwyer also took had a strong interest in the areas of training, governance and advocacy, demonstrated through his work with the Australian Society of Anaesthetists (ASA) and the Faculty of Anaesthetists of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). He held the position of ASA President, was chairman of the Court of Examiners for RACS and, in 1974, was elected Dean, Faculty of Anaesthetists.
Dwyer’s contribution to anaesthesia is recognised in the various awards and accolades he received throughout his life, including the Robert Orton Medal in 1984, a papal knighthood in 1993 and, for his services to St Vincent’s Hospital, a Member of the Order of Australia in 1997.
The Faculty of Pain Medicine bestowed an honorary fellowship upon him in 2000.
In his retirement he obtained a graduate certificate in theology and taught religious instruction at North Sydney Girls’ High School.
OTHER AWARDS & HONOURS
1984 Robert Orton Medal
1993 Papal honour of Knight Commander in the Order of St Gregory the Great
1997 Member of the Order of Australia
2000 Honorary Fellowship of the Faculty of Pain Medicine
The information in these biographies has been researched via the ANZCA Archives with the assistance of the individual Fellows.
- Brian Dwyer (photograph), c1974