Ian William Payne

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 02 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3475
  1. Sue Pearkes

After qualifying in 1946 Ian William Payne became a house surgeon at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. From 1947 (the year of his marriage) to 1949, he served as a captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps (national service), and in 1949 he was appointed as demonstrator of anatomy at Manchester University. In 1949 he obtained his Diploma in Ophthalmic Medicine and Surgery, followed by the FRCS in 1953. In 1950 he moved to London and became house surgeon and then senior registrar at the Royal Eye Hospital in St George’s Circus, where he remained until 1955, when he moved with his family to the edge of Dartmoor in Devon and took up his post as consultant ophthalmologist at Plymouth Royal Eye Infirmary. He remained there until he retired in 1987.

During his early years in Plymouth, there were no junior medical staff, and he was on call one week in three, necessitating many night calls and visits to the hospital. With the appointment of a fourth consultant and then two or three house surgeons, the workload became easier, which was also helped by the cessation of the regular Saturday morning outpatient clinic. During those early years, he had little time to spend with his family and would often suffer from the “weekend migraine syndrome,” forcing him to bed and reducing his family time still further.

He took a great interest in the further education of his junior medical staff and would hold regular classes in optics after hours, a subject he felt was much neglected, but vitally important. He believed that a working knowledge of optics was essential for every ophthalmologist. He made models from Perspex and thread to demonstrate the refraction of light through lenses, and would spend many hours preparing teaching materials for these sessions.

In addition, he …

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