University of Melbourne Medical School: reflections of a graduate

Sir Peter J Morris
Med J Aust 2012; 197 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11191
Published online: 3 September 2012

Sir Peter Morris received an Honorary Doctor of Laws and delivered the 40th Halford Oration, “Organ transplantation: a medical miracle of the 20th century”, on 5 July 2012, as part of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the University of Melbourne Medical School

As I was about to give the 40th Halford Oration as part of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the University of Melbourne Medical School in 1862  by George Britton Halford, I was invited by the Journal to reflect briefly on my own time there almost 60 years ago. I matriculated in 1951 and entered medicine in 1952. However, it was touch and go that I ended up doing medicine, as I had enrolled and been accepted for metallurgical engineering. But as the end of 1951 approached, I decided for a variety of reasons that I would like to change to medicine. My widowed mother took me up to the university to meet the registrar for admissions to discuss this possible change of plan. In retrospect, it seems amazing, but he seemed to think there was no problem if I wanted to change. This was presumably because I had a Commonwealth Scholarship. Also, as the registrar pointed out, there were no strict entry criteria into the first year, although there was a very strict quota thereafter, as only 160 students would go on to the rest of the course at the end of the first year.

  • Sir Peter J Morris1,2

  • 1 Centre for Evidence in Transplantation, Royal College of Surgeons of England and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.
  • 2 University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.



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