The Recollecting Oxford Medicine oral history project originated when Peggy Frith, as President of Oxford Medical Alumni, recognised the potential of recorded interviews to capture stories, memories and voices from the Oxford Medical school and Oxford Hospitals. The interviewees were selected to cover, from an Oxford perspective over almost a century, the many changes in the practice of medicine and medical teaching, of both local and national importance. The material would supplement the Bodleian Libraries' extensive archives related to notable Oxford medical researchers. Between 2011 and 2021 Derek Hockaday, Oxford physician since the 1960s, along with Frith and others, interviewed 50 current or former professors, directors, researchers, clinicians and technicians who span from the Second World War until the present day. This podcast series comprises the publicly accessible recordings from the oral history project.
Album cover: Radcliffe Infirmary, 2019. Photograph by Billy Wilson, available under the terms of CC BY-NC 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode
Derek Hockaday interviews Martin Vessey, Emeritus Professor of Public Health, 4 June 2014 Topics discussed include: (00:00:15) how MV came to Oxford; (00:01:36) John Honour; (00:03:46) choosing to focus on epidemiology and statistics, learning about statistics and computing post medical qualification and return to clinical house appointments; (00:07:28) meeting Richard Doll; (00:10:14) comparing Oxford and London computing facilities; (00.11:39) MD thesis, United States trip and return to Oxford, (00:14:39) work under direction of Richard Doll at Medical Research Council statistical research unit and effect on direction of career; (00:18:26) MRC and World Health Organisation; (00:19:49) fertilisation and contraceptive work; (00:23:42) studies relating to the etiology of cervical cancer; (00:26:58) research into menopause and investigation of hormone replacement; (00:31:22) differences in different generations of contraceptive pills; (00:36:34) social and community medicine in relation to epidemiology; (00:42:02) interactions with and teaching medical students; (00:48:57) attending medical and surgical grand rounds; (00:50:17) research, papers and breast cancer screening; (00:55:51) Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution; (00:58:50) Rosemary Rue; (01:02:04) travelling for conferences; (01:04:10) supervising DPhil students; (01:09:20) final thoughts on career; (01:11:53) women in epidemiology and medicine.
Derek Hockaday interviews Mike Dunnill, researcher, pathologist and former Director of Clinical Studies,10 February 2012. Topics discussed include: (00:00:10) first coming to Oxford from Bristol in 1956, Department of Pathology facilities; (00:04:00) becoming interested in medical education, George Pickering's committee for Medical School at Nottingham; (00:05:18) becoming Director of Clinical Studies in 1967; (00:06:15) report outlining changes to Honours schools coinciding with the Royal Commission on Medical Education,1969; (00:11:27) lunchtime post-mortem demonstrations; (00:15:21) the [Richard] Doll committee; (00:19:46) graduate assistants work in 1950s in Oxford; (00:21:10) staff on the Pathology course; (00:25:16) the Nuffield Committee; (00:26:38) increasing student numbers for clinical school; (00:28:10) George Pickering.
Derek Hockaday interviews Ann Taylor, researcher and physiologist, 20 January 2016. Topics discussed include: (00:01:25) family connection to Oxford, teenage years in Oxford High school for girls, entry into Somerville and old quota system; (00:02:57) being under the care of Dorothy Hodgkin in the medical school; (00:04:32) Janet Vaughn; (00:05:20) thoughts on schools year, practical work and courses; (00:11:00) working at the Pickering unit, comparing Witts and Pickering; (00:12:38) role post-research; (00:16:10) appointed first medical tutor and lecturer at St. Anne's college, work with H.B Parry in the Nuffield Institute; (00:21:15) work at Stanford, America, thoughts on American healthcare system, work under Roy Maffly on cell biology (effects of antimitotic drugs); (00:24:10) submitting research paper to the Congress of Nephrology, grant application having to be under Roy Maffly's name; (00:28:26) moving to Cornell University Medical School, department of physiology, and work on microtubules; (00:31:57) returning to Oxford, lectureship in physiology department joint appointment allocation with St Edmund Hall, tutoring and lecturing; (00:35:40) running the renal physiology course; (00:239:12) memories of colleagues in the department of physiology; (00:41:38) thoughts on Oxford Medical system; (00:45:25) family at time of clinical course, support with children; (00:48:03) being the first woman fellow at St Edmund Hall in 1980; (00:52:25) relationship between clinical and pre-clinical departments, surgeons; (00:56:51) ward sisters and nurses.
John Oxbury interviews John Spalding, former consultant and research neurologist for Oxford United Hospitals, 26 July 2011. Topics discussed include: (00:00:13) experience of neurology in Oxford from mid 1940s, student houseman job and being a house surgeon for Hugh Cairns at Radcliffe infirmary during the war; (00:02:00) Hugh Cairns; (00:04:21) jobs after qualifying; (00:06:20) working in the military head injury hospital during second world war; (00:10:14) Spalding’s papers on pheochromocytoma and number forms; (00:21:56) Nuffield 3 being built, allocated space for neurology; (00:22:44) polio; (00:31:00) the East Radcliffe ventilator; (00:34:30) the Polio Fund; (00:43:50) treating patients with tetanus and Myasthenia gravis; (00:47:42) BBC 'Your life in their hands' television show; (00:50:21) investigating blood pressure when treating patients with tetanus and Guillain-Barre syndrome with Geoffrey George; (01:01:07) time with Honor Smith in Morocco investigating outbreak of paralysis; (01:09:14) balancing research and clinical work as a neurologist; (01:15:00) post retirement life.
The following sections of audio are redacted:
00:08:12-00:09:04; 00:17:16-00:18:12; 00:40:50-00:42:30; 01:11:40-01:12.00.
Derek Hockaday interviews George Alberti, research endocrinologist and former President of the Royal College of Physicians, 24 May 2013. Topics discussed include: (00:00:00) admission into Balliol to study medicine, preliminaries and early years in Oxford, Sandy Oxton (00:05:15) Coolidge Scholarship to go to United States; (00:07:50) Biochemistry and DPhil project at Hans Krebs lab on amino acid metabolism in mitochondria; (00:12:12) work ethic and start of clinical work, involvement in teaching tutorials; (00:16:37) Endocrinology and diabetes research; (00:20:00) finals; (00:21:33) teaching staff; (00:25:23) visits to United States, post-qualification fellowship applications; (00:27:35) research and clinics in Boston; (00:31:57) returning to Oxford to do clinical research; (00:35:40) comparing the Radcliffe and Oxford in general to other places clinically (United States, Southampton, Brighton); (00:36:43) Oxford undergraduate course as preparation for a career in medicine; (00:38:07) clinical research at the Hans Krebs unit; (00:42:10) reasons for leaving Oxford; (00:44:50) influence of multiple analyser on clinical biochemistry; (00:46:27) progression of the medical school since leaving Oxford; (00:48:25) reflection on teaching pre-clinical tutorials. Note that the following sections of audio are redacted: 00:09:29-00:09:35; 00:15:56-00:16:18; 00:23:40-00:23:42; 00:49:33-00:49:38.
Derek Hockaday interviews Richard Boyd, emeritus professor, lecturer in Medicine and fellow of Brasenose College, 30 August 2013. Topics discussed include: (00:00:08) childhood, coming to Merton College, Oxford; (00:01:56) comparing teaching methods between Cambridge and Oxford; (00:03:00) entrance into Oxford including interview; (00:04:18) practical work; (00:05:25) medical schools and teaching staff; (00:06:50) pharmacology; (00:09:25) BSc research (00:10:59) Path and Bac course; (00:12:00) moving to University College Hospital London, 1967 and comparisons with Oxford; (00:16:08) time in Papa New Guinea; (00:17:56) PhD thesis; (00:20:22) Rod Porter as head of clinical department; (00:21:58) Job in Dundee department of Physiology; (00:24:10) returning to Oxford from Dundee; (00:25:58) role as medical tutor for Brasenose College; (00:33:39) cholera treatment; (00:36:49) college life; (00:41:25) effect of internet on medicine; (00:43:04) changes seen in the Oxford Medical School; (00:44:52) pre-clinical students and changes to the pre-clinical courses; (00:52:00) setting up the synoptic paper on pre-clinical course; (00:52:50) evolution of Oxford pre clinical school compared to Cambridge; (00:54:25) writing and editing; (00:55:56) involvement in grant awarding bodies.