Dunedin is a small city located in the southeastern part of the South Island of New Zealand, an enclave found in the Southern Hemisphere halfway around the World. How possibly would anyone consider such a remote place to be the birthplace of modern plastic surgery? Yet here was born both Sir Harold Delf Gillies, the "father of modern plastic surgery." and his first cousin once removed, Sir Archibold Hector McIndoe. Author Rainsford Mowlem, born in Auckland, was a contemporary of McIndoe at the University of Otago Medical School in Dunedin, from which they both graduated. Along with Kilner, Gillies, McIndoe, and Mowlem were known during the intervening years after the first World War as the "Big Four" full-time plastic surgeons in England. Henry Percy Pickerill was not born in New Zealand, but was the first dean and Director of the University of Otago Dental School when it opened. At Queen's Hospital in Sidcup he headed the New Zealand section, where he too was under the guidance of Gillies. After that war he returned to Dunedin, where for better or worse influenced there the future development of plastic surgery. Thus, the birthplace of the lives or careers of those 4 pioneers of plastic surgery-Gillies, Pickerill, McIndoe, Mowlem-was Dunedin. Perhaps were it not for the fate of the Great World Wars it may have never been, but it was.
Published In/Presented At
Zhang, W. Y., & Hallock, G. G. (2020). Gillies and Dunedin: The birthplace of modern plastic surgery. Journal of plastic, reconstructive & aesthetic surgery : JPRAS, 73(6), 1012–1017. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjps.2020.02.011
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Surgery