Duhig, James Vincent

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MB 1914 MSurgery 1914

James Vincent Duhig was the first Pathologist to go into private practice. He established the first pathology laboratories at the Mater Misericordiae and Brisbane General Hospitals, and was Founder of the Red Cross Blood Bank in Queensland. He became President of the Association of Clinical Pathologists, and was also a key figure in the establishment of the School of Medicine at the University of Queensland where he was the Foundation Professor of Pathology. He was also a pioneer in the formation of the Australian College of Pathologists.

James was born in Brisbane and educated at St Joseph’s College, Nudgee. In 1908, he entered the University of Sydney, first to study Arts, then switching to Medicine after his first year. During the World War I, he served as Medical Officer in the AIF in Europe, being demobilised with the rank of Major. After the war, he undertook up his postgraduate studies in Pathology at the Kings College Hospital in London.

On returning to Australia in 1920, James began as a Pathologist and Bacteriologist in Wickham Terrace, Brisbane, a practice he retained until 1963. When he began, he was the first pathologist in private practice, and he established the Pathology Laboratory at Mater Hospital, Brisbane. In 1924, he established the Pathology Laboratory at Brisbane General Hospital, and according to the James Vincent Duhig Museum of Pathology, began preserving specimens for the Pathology Museum now housed within the University of Queensland.

University of Queensland records note that James was actively involved in a campaign against diphtheria and prepared penicillin and anti-poliomyelitis serum in his laboratories when supplies were low.

James was also the Australian President of the Association of Clinical Pathologists, a Foundation Member of the Royal Australian College of Physicians and an Honorary Member of the College of Pathologists of Australia. He retained his interest in the arts and was President of the Royal Queensland Art Society for 10 years. In addition, he persuaded Lloyd Rees to donate paintings to the University of Queensland and is credited with initiating the University’s art collection.[1]

Citation: Mellor, Lise (2008) Duhig, James Vincent. Faculty of Medicine Online Museum and Archive, University of Sydney.

An alternate version appears in: Mellor, L. 150 Years, 150 Firsts: The People of the Faculty of Medicine (2006) Sydney, Sydney University Press.