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Biographical entry Wilson, Gwenifer Catherine May (Gwen) (1916 - 1998)

Born
October 1916
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
Died
31 October 1998
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Anaesthetist and Medical historian

Summary

Gwen Wilson was the first woman to earn an Australian Postgraduate Diploma in Anaesthesia. Her early career as anaesthetist was in suburban hospitals in Sydney. However, having been denied promotion because she was a woman, Wilson moved to St George Hospital, Sydney, where she remained for some years, ultimately as Honorary Consulting Anaesthetist. For over 30 years Wilson was Honorary Historian (later Historian Emeritus) to the Faculty of Anaesthetists of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and its succeeding organisation, the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists. Her Doctor of Medicine degree was the first awarded in Australia for history of medicine. Her many publications on the history of Australian anaesthesia include a bibliography which resulted from a rigorous examination of Australian medical literature, and histories of anaesthesia and its professional organisations in Australia.

Details

Events

1939 -
Career position - Resident Medical Officer, Balmain Hospital, Sydney
1939
Education - MB BS, University of Sydney
1945
Education - Diploma in Anaesthesia, University of Sydney
1948 - 1956
Career position - Honorary Anaesthetist, Balmain, Rachel Forster and Royal North Shore Hospitals, Sydney
1951 - 1956
Career position - Member of Executive Committee, Australian Society of Anaesthetists
1952 - 1956
Career position - Founding Member, Faculty of Anaesthetists, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
1954 - 1956
Career position - Secretary, Australian Society of Anaesthetists
1956 - 1968
Career position - Honorary Anaesthetist, St George Hospital, Sydney
1956 - 1992
Career position - Fellow, Faculty of Anaesthetists, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
1962 - 1992
Career position - Lecturer in History of Anaesthesia, Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics, University of Sydney
1966 - 1992
Career position - Honorary Historian, Faculty of Anaesthetists, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
1968 - ?
Career position - Honorary Consultant Anaesthetist, St George Hospital, Sydney
1981
Life event - Retired
1987
Award - Gilbert Brown Award, Australian Society of Anaesthetists
1988
Award - Faculty Medal, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists
1990
Award - Robert Orton Award, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists
1992 - 1998
Career position - Honorary Historian (later Historian Emeritus), Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists
1992 - 1998
Career position - Fellow, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists
1994
Education - MD, University of Sydney
1996
Award - Laureate of the History of Anesthesia, Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology, Schaumburg, Illinois, U.S.A.

Related Corporate Bodies

Published resources

Books

  • Wilson, Gwen, Fifty years: the Australian Society of Anaesthetists 1934 - 1984, Australian Society of Anaesthetists, Edgecliffe, NSW, 1987, 502 pp. Details
  • Wilson, Gwen, Bibliography of references to anaesthesia in Australian medical journals, 1846 - 1962, Faculty of Anaesthetists, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Melbourne, 1988, 481 pp. Details
  • Wilson, Gwen, One Grand Chain: the History of Anaesthesia in Australia 1846-1962, vol. 2, Australian & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, Melbourne, 1996- 2004. Details

Book Sections

  • Wilson, Gwen, 'The Australian Society of Anaesthetists', in Wilson, Gwen (ed.), One grand chain: the history of anaesthesia in Australia 1846 - 1962, volume 2, 1834 - 1962, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, Melbourne, 2004, pp. 1-40. Details
  • Wilson, Gwen, 'The Faculty of Anaesthetists 1957 - 1962', in Wilson, Gwen (ed.), One grand chain: the history of anaesthesia in Australia 1846 - 1962, volume 2, 1834 - 1962, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, Melbourne, 2004, pp. 311-74. Details
  • Wilson, Gwen, 'The Faculty of Anaesthetists 1952 - 1956', in Wilson, Gwen (ed.), One grand chain: the history of anaesthesia in Australia 1846 - 1962, volume 2, 1834 - 1962, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, Melbourne, 2004, pp. 231-308. Details

Journal Articles

  • Cooper, Michael G., 'A woman of history: Gwenifer Wilson. 1916 - 1998 M.B.B.S. (Sydney). D.A. (Sydney), F.F.A.R.A.C.S., F.A.N.Z.C.A., M.D.', Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, vol. 27, no. 1, 1999, pp. 110-1. Details
  • Greene, Nicholas M., 'Dr Gwenifer Wilson, first Laureate of the history of anesthesia', Anesthesiology, vol. 85, 1996, pp. 703-5. Details
  • Wilson, G., 'Faculty of Anaesthetists, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons: foundation and progress', Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 1977, no. 1, 1977, pp. 738-42. Details
  • Wilson, G., 'The Pioneering Anaestheists of Australia', Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, vol. 7, no. 4, 1979, pp. 311-321. Details
  • Wilson, G., 'The First Anaesthetics in Australia: an Historical Update', Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 157, 1992, pp. 781-784. Details
  • Wilson, G., 'Dr Mary Taylor Burnell', Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, vol. 24, 1996, pp. 721-3. Details
  • Wilson, Gwen, 'Janet Lindsay Greig: a Pioneer', Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, vol. 13, no. 4, 1985, pp. 420-428. Details
  • Wilson, Gwen, 'Benjamin Archer Kent: a South Australian Pioneer', Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, vol. 15, 1987, pp. 451-458. Details
  • Wilson, Gwen, 'Obituary; Geoffrey Kaye, M.D. (Melb.), M.B.B.S., F.F.A.R.A.C.S. (Hon.), F.F.A.R.C.S., D.A.(R.C.P.&S.) 1903 - 1986', Anaethesia and Intensive Care, vol. 15, no. 1, 1987, pp. 107-9. Details
  • Wilson, Gwen and Cooper, Michael G., 'The Development of Anaesthesia in Australia, 1914-1994', Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 161, no. 1, 1994, pp. 29, 32-34. Details
  • Wilson, Gwenifer C. M., 'The tyrant overcome: a review of the history of anasethesia in Australia', Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, vol. 1, 1972, pp. 1-26. Details
  • Wilson, Gwenifer C. M., 'The Introduction of Local Anaesthesia in Australia, January 19, 1885', Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, vol. 13, no. 1, 1985, pp. 71-78. Details

Theses

  • Wilson, Gwenifer C. M., 'The history of anaesthesia in Australia, 1846 - 1962', M.D, University of Sydney, 1994. Details

Online Resources

Helen Cohn