I have a predominant interest in cleft lip and palate surgery.
I grew up in Surrey having been born in 1954 in Kingston, and travelled from Ewell to school in Wimbledon. From a very early age I was interested in medicine as a career.
I went to medical school at St Thomas’s Hospital in London with a course which bore more resemblance to ‘Doctor in the House’ of Dirk Bogarde’s fame than anything which students experience today. A brief interlude of a year studying Psychology at Bedford College in Regent’s Park for BSc gave me more time to woo Kate, who I had already met at home but had gone to Exeter for 3 years to undertake her degree. I left St Thomas’s in 1978 and became a General Surgical Registrar in 1981 for 2 years at the (now defunct) Brook Hospital in Shooters Hill, South East London.
In 1983 Kate and I went to Tanzania for 2 years to work in a mission hospital at Mvumi (near Dodoma in mid Tanzania) but a delayed work permit had led to a temporary SHO post in plastic surgery before leaving. The SHO experience in plastics changed my approach to surgery for good, and on return, I trained at Mount Vernon, Northwood, UCH London and Queen Mary’s Roehampton as a plastic surgeon.
In 1991 I was appointed to the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford as a consultant. The following year I returned to East Africa on a trip arranged by Prof Eldryd Parry’s International Health Consortium (another metamorphosed organisation, which is part of THET). That visit to Uganda included a trip to Mbarara in the west, during which 3 other surgeons and I stumbled across an enthusiastic couple teaching students at the small medical school there. A lasting friendship with the Hodges was born. I returned on several occasions subsequently and discovered a major talent in both Andrew and Sarah for managing reconstructive problems.
I was honoured and delighted to be invited to become e trustee of Interface in 2006 and hope that by formally becoming part of the organisation I can be used for support and develop its activities as much as possible in the coming years.