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Roger Brearley

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 16 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6522
  1. Stephen Brearley

Roger Brearley was a consultant general surgeon at Whiston and St Helens Hospitals on Merseyside for over 25 years until his retirement in 1987. Born in Liverpool in 1922 and trained in Liverpool, Manchester, and Padua, he was a highly regarded surgeon and surgical teacher who also made important contributions at national and international level, notably through his involvement in the drawing up of the Medical Directives of the European Union (then European Economic Community, EEC) and the recommendations on the training of specialists of the EU’s Advisory Committee on Medical Training, which he chaired.

Educated at the Liverpool Institute School, where he was taught by H Chapman Pincher and Lawrence Naylor, he won the Margaret Bryce scholarship to study medicine at Liverpool University, where he was active in the music society and won the university’s debating competition. After an accelerated wartime course, he qualified in 1945 (just too late to see military service) and embarked on surgical training under the tutelage of J B Oldham. While working as a demonstrator of anatomy in Liverpool, he conducted the university music society in a production of Gluck’s Orfeo but nonetheless went on to pass the FRCS at the first attempt in 1949. Under the regulations of the newly established NHS, this meant that he immediately became a senior registrar, but his …

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