Respiratory physician and medical historian, Bryan Gandevia was born in 1925 and died in 2006. A University of Melbourne medical graduate in 1948, he undertook residency at the Royal Melbourne Hospital before enlisting in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps serving in the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan and later in Korean War.
From 1951-54 he had postgraduate appointments at the RMH in pathology, clinical medicine and clinical studies supervision, obtaining his Doctorate in Medicine. From 1954-57 he held research fellowship appointments at the Brompton Hospital for Diseases of the Chest and at Hammersmith Postgraduate Medical School in London. Five year in private practice back in Melbourne followed, until in 1963 he was appointed as Associate Professor of Medicine, University of New South Wales, and Chairman of the Department of Respiratory Medicine at Prince Henry and Prince of Wales Hospitals.
Here he was part of a team which managed to turn the infectious diseases hospital into a centre of excellence. He developed an interest in occupational health including industrial health surveys and asbestosis- related disease. He held his university and hospital appointments until his retirement in 1985, after which he returned to private practice until 1998.
Gandevia had a long standing interest in medical history which began when he was a medical student. His research and publication on the history of medicine in Australia had a profound influence on the development of knowledge in this field, and in 1986, he was a founding member, and President, of the Australian Society of the History of Medicine. In 1985 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his work as a Trustee of the Australian War Memorial from 1967-83.
Listen to interview extracts
Dr Bryan Gandevia was interviewed by historian Dr Alan Gregory on 16 June 1995. Listen to an edited extract as he discusses the early use of the drugs penicillin, cortisone and chloromycetin.
Brenda Heagney, “Obituary: Bryan Harle Gandevia”, Health and History, Volume 8, No 2, 2006.