Jeremy MorrisBMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b4679 (Published 11 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4679
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Among the many achievements of Jerry Morris mentioned in his obituary (BMJ : 14 November 2009, page 1146 vol.339) there is no reference to two major contributions he made in the field of public health.
On his appointment in 1967 to the chair of public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine he replaced the long standing one year DPH course by a new two year MSc degree incorporating his vision of the new “community physician” which he outlined in his Delamar Lecture at the John Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1969. He saw the role as that of epidemiologist, community counsellor and administrator of local medical services, as a professional man and a public servant taking on and extending “the traditional tasks of the medical officer of health as teacher, watchdog and troublemaker.”
In furtherance of his vision Morris played a major role in the establishment of the Faculty of Community Medicine (later the faculty of Public Health) of the three Royal Colleges of Physicians in England and Scotland. Between 1966 and 1968 Morris had numerous informal and confidential discussions with individual medical officers of health, senior administrative medical officers, colleagues in academic departments and research units and senior government officials. He found there was support for creating a single body/society to bring together the various related interests. He discussed his ideas with Sir Max (later Lord) Rosenheim, President of the Royal College of Physicians of London, who suggested associating the development with the Royal Colleges. After much discussion and negotiation between the bodies concerned the Faculty of Community Medicine of the three Colleges was inaugurated in 1972.
Michael D Warren
(Emeritus Professor of Social Medicine
University of Kent at Canterbury)
Competing interests: No competing interests