Clare Neville Smith

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 03 August 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3127
  1. Jenny Tyrrell,
  2. Bridget Revell,
  3. Jon Heuch

    Clare Neville Smith trained at Girton College, Cambridge, and the West London Hospital during war time. After house jobs she moved to Canada in 1948, but it was her experience as a paediatrician from 1956 to 1958 with Save the Children Fund in Korea working with refugee children that shaped her future career. She was profoundly affected by the desperate plight of children who were suffering from malnutrition, and she found it difficult to settle back into “high tech” paediatrics in Toronto and London. In 1961 she was appointed paediatrician to the Newfoundland Department of Health to develop children’s community health services in the province with its many remote communities. She was based in St John’s but travelled widely throughout the province, liaising with the Grenfell Association Medical Services and the local networks of public health nurses. She played a key part in establishing the Provincial School for the Deaf, and employed the first audiologist at Newfoundland Children’s Hospital. Recognising the increased burden of deafness in the “outport” communities, she initiated a programme of genetic research at the Memorial University Medical School, and from this work has come a great deal of understanding of genetic links in deafness.

    Clare was an inspiration for many, including us, her three godchildren. She was an active member of the Friends of the Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Gardens. Clare enjoyed travel and learning throughout her life and made many friends both at home in Newfoundland and around the world.


    Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3127


    • Former schools medical officer Province of Newfoundland, Canada (b Kasauli, India, 1922; q Cambridge 1945), died on 3 May 2009 from complications of coronary artery surgery in St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.

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