Obituary: Sir Peter Tizard
Davis, John, The Independent (London, England)
John Peter Mills Tizard: paediatrician; born London 1 April 1916; Medical Registrar and Pathologist, Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street 1947; Assistant Director, Paediatric Unit, St Mary's Hospital Medical School 1949; Physician, Paddington Green Children's Hospital 1949-50; Nuffield Foundation Medical Fellow 1951; Research Fellow in Pediatrics, Harvard University 1951-52; Reader in Child Health 1954-64, Professor of Paediatrics, Institute of Child Health, Royal Postgraduate Medical School of London 1964-72; Honorary Consultant Children's Physician, Hammersmith Hospital 1954-72; FRCP 1958; Professor of Paediatrics, Oxford University, and Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford 1972-83; President, European Paediatric Research Society 1970-71; Honorary Consultant Children's Physician, Oxfordshire Health Authority 1972-83; President, Neonatal Society 1975-78; Kt 1982; President, British Paediatric Association 1982-85; married 1945 Joy Taylor (two sons, one daughter); died Hillingdon 27 October 1993.
IT IS very difficult to find oneself the son - and particularly the eldest son - of a famous father, and in Peter Tizard's case this was compounded by belonging to a family in which fellowship of the Royal Society had become almost an hereditary honour. That, in his own way, he achieved comparable if not equal eminence was the result of a complex interaction between inherited abilities and character (his mother, Lady Tizard, was a formidable character in her own right), his upbringing in a cultivated upper-middle-class milieu, in which expectations were high both as regards achievement and public service, the benign influence of his cousin Tovie, with whom he spent contented holidays from Rugby in the Lake District, and the natural drive to emulation, which the disappointment of a Third Class honours degree in the pre-clinical sciences only served to spur.
Proceeding from Oxford to the Middlesex Hospital in 1938 as a Scholar, he found his metier in clinical medicine and from then on his career was relatively plain sailing: the usual residences; army service abroad, during which he seems to have shared a tent with half of what later became the medical establishment; a middle-grade appointment at Great Ormond Street; promotion to consultant status as First Assistant to the Paediatric Unit at St Mary's, Paddington in 1949; translation in 1954to the Royal Postgraduate Medical School of London Institute of Child Health in charge of its Neonatal Unit at Hammersmith Hospital, where he was first Reader and then Professor, and which his foresight and administrative ability turned into a leading centre for research into the problems posed by premature birth; and finally his return to Oxford, in 1972, as the first incumbent of its Chair of Paediatrics and the most distinguished academic children's physician of his generation. In between, he trained as a neurologist at Queen's Square and in 1951, with his hero Bronson Crothers in the Children's Medical Center attached to the Harvard Medical School, spent a sabbatical year in the Nuffield Institute studying neonatal physiology.
Tizard was not, and did not make any claim to be, a great scientist, though his contributions to medical knowledge were considerable in range and quality. He had his father's gift for recognising when and how advances in basic science could be applied to …
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Publication information: Article title: Obituary: Sir Peter Tizard. Contributors: Davis, John - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: November 5, 1993. Page number: Not available. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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