Name: Russell Geoffrey Cole
MB BS, Melbourne, 1944
DA, Melbourne, 1952
Date of Birth: 28 October 1920
Date of Death: 2 November 2008
Russell Geoffrey Cole graduated MBBS in 1944 and joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). He continued to serve with the RAN after the war ended, being promoted to Surgeon Lieutenant in 1947, and leaving the RAN in 1949. He continued on with the Volunteer Reserve.
On his return to Melbourne in 1949 he became a demonstrator in anatomy at the University of Melbourne, and clinical supervisor at the Alfred Hospital. In 1950 he began his long association with the Royal Melbourne Hospital, which lasted until his retirement in 1987. This included a two year period in London where he worked as an anaesthetic registrar at St Thomas’, obtained the Diploma of Anaesthetics and gaining fellowship with the Faculty of Anaesthetists of the Royal College of Surgeons.
During the Vietnam War, he served as an anaesthetist at the Vung Tau Hospital, and participated in many hair-raising episodes of helicopter retrieval of injured soldiers.
For a period, Cole combined private practice with public work, working as a medical officer to Pentridge Prison, fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, Visiting Professor at the South Western Medical School in Dallas, Texas, chronic pain management in South Africa and South East Asia, and providing anaesthetic support for eye surgery in the Northern Territory.
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