Smith, Patrick

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MB 1867 MD 1870 MA (Aberd)

Patrick Smith was the first of six Victorian practitioners to obtain the Sydney degrees.

Patrick was born in 1837 in Insch, Aberdeenshire, and educated at Marischal College, where he obtained the Scottish AM degree in 1861. We do not know where or when he studied medicine but he must have gained his licences to practise before 1867 since such licences would have been a prerequisite for his registration in Victoria and for his acceptance for examination at the University of Sydney. We first find record of him in Australia in early 1867, the same year in which he took his Sydney MB while living and practising at Learmouth; later that year he was appointed House Surgeon at the Melbourne Benevolent Asylum. He seems to have intended settling there, since he married at Learmouth in 1868. Ambition evidently drove him to sit for the Sydney MB examination, to which he was admitted on the basis of his MA and, presumably, his licences. He failed in his first attempt at the examination but passed a few months later and returned to obtain his MD in 1870.

In Melbourne he was very active in the Medical Society of Victoria. He became Medical Officer at the Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum in 1872 and held an honorary appointment at the Melbourne Hospital in 1875.

In 1877 he left Melbourne for Queensland, where he remained for the rest of his life. There he became a Justice of the Peace and, at various times, occupied Government medical posts. In his first year in Queensland, he was appointed Superintendent of the Woogaru Lunatic Asylum, located between Ipswich and Brisbane. In 1885 he took up the same position at the Dunwich Benevolent Asylum, a hospital for the aged and infirm with an associated leprosarium, located at a remote site on Stradbroke Island in Moreton Bay. He retained this post until his death in 1900.

Citation: Mellor, Lise (2008) Smith, Patrick. Faculty of Medicine Online Museum and Archive, University of Sydney.

An alternate version appears in: Young, J A, Sefton, A J, Webb, N. Centenary Book of the University of Sydney Faculty of Medicine, (1984) Sydney University Press for The University of Sydney Faculty of Medicine.