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Michael Dixon

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 10 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5173
  1. John Dixon

My father, Michael Dixon, who has died aged 95, was one of the dwindling band of doctors who qualified before 1948, and he was therefore recognised as a founder member of the new NHS. At school in the war he watched the bombers go over for the blitz and the dogfights; this confirmed his decision to go into medicine. During the war years, medical training was reduced to four years, with no holidays. Dad went to London University and St Mary’s Hospital Medical School. Medical schools were also, I think, keen to get the new recruits through: Dad told the story of an examiner in his finals, who showed him the skull of a child and asked him to name its age. He hazarded a guess “6?” “Quite right,” came the answer, “6 months.” As a houseman in St Mary’s during the time of the V2 raids, he found it gruelling: the only other doctor covering the ward was an elderly consultant pathologist, whose main interest did not encompass the living. Dad lost several stone in weight during that time, as he walked the huge ward with a textbook in one hand.

After the war he was posted on national service, first …

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