Name: Patricia Mackay (Wilson), OAM
MB ChB, Otago, 1947
DA, Melb, 1952
DA, RCS, 1953
Date of Birth: 18 August 1926
Date of Death: 1 September 2015
Born in New Zealand in 1926, Patricia Mackay (nee Wilson) graduated from medicine in 1947.
Mackay visited Melbourne in 1952 where she gained her Diploma of Anaesthesia (DA). She almost immediately followed that up by travelling to England and gained her DA there in 1953. Mackay was then elected to membership of the Faculty of Anaesthetists of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1954.
Mackay returned to New Zealand as the junior anaesthetic specialist at Dunedin Hospital between 1953 and 1954, as well as taking up a position as lecturer in anaesthesia at the University of Otago.
In 1954 she returned to Melbourne as the assistant director of anaesthesia at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, which was the beginning of a long and distinguished career in Melbourne. She was the first woman to be appointed head of the anaesthesia department in 1984, a position she held until her retirement from clinical practice in 1992.
While at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Mackay established the acute pain service, introduced a new and improved anaesthetic chart, regular registrar teaching time, and morbidity and mortality meetings. She also took on a number of non-clinical leadership roles including president of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists (1966 – 68), and chair of the Victorian Consultative Council on Anaesthetic Mortality and Morbidity (1991 – 2005).
Patricia Mackay was awarded many official honours, including the ANZCA medal, life membership of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists, the Australian Medical Association Woman in Medicine Award, and the Centenary Medal of the Order of Australia. In 2008, Mackay was also awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.
Obituary, ANZCA website; Obituary, AMA website; Form of Proposal for Nomination to Fellowship, 1955.
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