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Biographical entry Adam, George Rothwell Wilson (Rothwell) (1853 - 1924)

22 January 1853
Leeds, Yorkshire, England
26 December 1924
East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Gynaecologist and Obstetrician


Rothwell Adam was a gynaecologist and obstetrician who worked in private practice, at the Alfred Hospital (1881 - 1895) and the (Royal) Women's Hospital (1895 - 1913). He was also an excellent lecturer who strove to improve both the course and training of doctors, midwifes and students. From 1900-1913 he was Lecturer in Obstetrics and Diseases of Women at the University of Melbourne. The survival of the clinical school at the Women's Hospital during the early years has been attributed to Adam's demeanor, abilities and the respect he commanded.


Rothwell Adam arrived in Australia with his family around 1861. After matriculating, Adam had a short stint at farming before deciding on a medical career. His parents sent him to the University of Edinburgh, where his father had studied, to pursue his medical studies. Upon completing a Bachelor of Medicine and Masters of Surgery, Adam worked under Professor J.H. Croom at Edinburgh Royal Maternity Hospital and then took up a post at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. These two posts instigated his desire to specialize in the fields of gynecology and obstetrics. In 1879 Rothwell Adam returned to Australia and set up a private practice in East Melbourne. Two years later he was appointed to the honorary staff at the Alfred hospital, but resigned in 1888 because he was unable to establish a gynaecological unit there. That same year he received honorary appointment at the Women's Hospital, Melbourne and in 1895 was promoted to resident gynaecologist. He remained in that post until he retired in 1913. Rothwell Adam also spent many years lecturing at the University of Melbourne and teaching at the Women's Hospital clinical school. He was president of the Medical Society of Victoria and the inaugural president of the Melbourne Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society.


c. 1860
Life event - Migrated to Australia (New South Wales)
Life event - Moved to Victoria
Education - Student at Scotch College in Melbourne
Education - Matriculated at the University of Melbourne
Education - Bachelor of Medicine (MB) and Master of Surgery (ChM) completed at the University of Edinburgh
1878 - 1879
Career position - Resident Physician at the Edinburgh Royal Maternity Hospital and Glasgow Royal Infirmary
1879 -
Career position - Private practice in East Melbourne
1881 - 1888
Career position - Honorary staff member at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne
27 November 1883
Life event - Married Eveline Grace Jones at Trinity Church in Parkville, Victoria
Education - Bachelor of Medicine (BM) completed at the University of Melbourne
1888 - 1895
Career position - Honorary Obstetrician at the (Royal) Women's Hospital, Melbourne
1895 - 1913
Career position - Gynaecologist at the (Royal) Women's Hospital
1900 - 1913
Career position - Obstetrics and women's health Lecturer at the University of Melbourne
Education - Doctor of Medicine (MD) received from the University of Melbourne
Life event - Retired

Archival resources

The University of Melbourne Archives

  • George Rothwell Wilson Adam - Records, 1913; The University of Melbourne Archives. Details

Published resources

Book Sections


McCarthy, G.J & Annette Alafaci