William Derek Wylie, Dean of the Faculty of Anaesthetists (1967–1969)

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William Derek Wylie was educated at Uppingham School and Caius College, Cambridge, and went on to St Thomas' Hospital Medical School. He started work at St Thomas' in 1948 and in 1953, he wrote 'The Practical Management of Pain in Labour', which was published in the UK and in the USA and was translated into German. There is a film in the Association's archives which shows the young Wylie and his close friend Harry Churchill-Davidson. The latter is seen administering the recently introduced synthetic substitute for curare, gallamine, to the fully conscious Wylie who is seen to develop fairly marked and widespread signs of muscular weakness. Subsequently, the intrepid duo are seen to demonstrate the dramatic efficacy of neostigmine in reversing the effects of the gallamine! One wonders what the older Wylie would have thought of such experimentation without ethical approval! His association with Churchill-Davidson produced a major textbook, ‘A Practice of Anaesthesia’.

Royal College of Anaesthetists



William Derek Wylie, Dean of the Faculty of Anaesthetists (1967–1969)




oil on canvas


H 59.5 x W 49.5 cm

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Royal College of Anaesthetists

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