University's Medical School turns 125 years old

Associate Professor Bill Griggs AM ASM, who will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award at the Medical 125 gala dinner this weekend. 
Portrait by Avril Thomas.

Associate Professor Bill Griggs AM ASM, who will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award at the Medical 125 gala dinner this weekend.
Portrait by Avril Thomas.

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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

One of the biggest gatherings of medical professionals in South Australia's history will take place this Saturday 4 September to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the State's oldest medical school at the University of Adelaide.

More than 500 people will attend a gala dinner at the Adelaide Convention Centre to mark the historic event, including SA Health Minister the Hon. John Hill MP, esteemed medical researcher and National Living Treasure Dr Basil Hetzel AC, anti-nuclear campaigner Dr Helen Caldicott, former SA Thinker-in-Residence Baroness Susan Greenfield and SA Chief Medical Officer Professor Paddy Phillips.

Another graduate - 2009 South Australian of the Year, Associate Professor Bill Griggs AM ASM - will be presented with a Distinguished Alumni Award for his services to his profession and the broader community.

Assoc. Prof. Griggs is a trauma specialist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and is best known for his work in disasters, having been deployed to manage evacuations and victim care for the Bali bombings, the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and the 2009 Samoan tsunami.

Dr Griggs has completed hundreds of aeromedical retrievals within the State and has been instrumental in the establishment of MedSTAR, South Australia's new retrieval service. He is also the inventor of a surgical instrument and associated medical procedure known as the "Griggs technique" for tracheotomies, which is now used worldwide to help thousands of patients each year, including Pope John Paul II in 2005.

The Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Justin Beilby, says the 125th anniversary is an opportunity to pay tribute to the outstanding medical talent to come out of South Australia since 1885.

"The University of Adelaide is immensely proud of its 125-year history and its part in helping to shape the future of medicine here in South Australia as well as internationally," he says.

More than 6000 doctors have graduated from the University of Adelaide's Medical School since 1885, including two Nobel Laureates (Lord Howard Florey and Dr J. Robin Warren), 14 Rhodes Scholars and eight Fulbright Scholars.

The University's Medical School is the third oldest in Australia. It was established in the same decade as the telephone was introduced in South Australia, the Torrens Lake was created, the Coopers Brewery and Stock Exchange were established, and the Adelaide Zoo opened.

The Medical Program started with six students in 1885 and now enrols up to 200 new students each year.

For more information about the history of the Medical School go to www.health.adelaide.edu.au/medicine125

 

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