David Arthur Welsh becomes foundation Professor of Pathology in 1902
From Faculty of Medicine Online Museum and Archive
The new century began with the appointment of David Arthur Welsh as the foundation Professor in Pathology. Welsh was born in 1865, Scotland and was a graduate of the Edinburgh Medical School. He was a brilliant researcher, taking first-class honours three times – in mathematics, clinical medicine and pathology and for his doctoral thesis on the structure and function of a parathyroid (1897). After graduation he became resident physician to Sir Thomas Fraser at the Royal Infirmary. He then spent a year at the Morningside Asylum with Ford Robertson. Just prior to his appointment at the University of Sydney, Welsh had been assistant to Sir Robert Muir, Professor of Anatomy at the University of Glasgow, original author of Muir's Textbook of Pathology. Before leaving Scotland, Welsh married Muir's sister Elizabeth in 1899. Successive editions of Muir's textbook were prescribed reading for Sydney medical students until well into the 1960s, as was another Edinburgh text Cunningham's Manual of Practical Anatomy.
When Welsh arrived at the University of Sydney the Pathology Department consisted of three small rooms – the Professor's retiring room, the preparation room and the practical classroom. Welsh remained Professor of Pathology until 1935, during which time he was also Dean of the Faculty of Medicine for three years (1926-1929). He presided over the Department of Pathology's move into the spacious new premises in the New Medical School, now the Blackburn Building.
- Next article in timeline: Sydney Hospital became a teaching hospital of the Faculty in 1909