Firstly, I would like to welcome everyone to the Liverpool Society of Anaesthetists. A Liverpool graduate in 1967, I failed the final year Anaesthesia viva at the hands of John Utting, then Senior Lecturer in the University Department. After the retake, I did several house jobs at Clatterbridge, at the end of which, jobless, I was press-ganged by Dr Gough Hughes (a past Hon Sec of the LSA) thus: 'You'd like to be an Anaesthetist, wouldn't you Chambers? Come on, come on boy - the Primary course starts on Monday and there's only one place left!'. Job 1 on day 1 of the Liverpool course was filling in an application form for LSA membership under the firm supervision of Professor Cecil Gray.
In 1975 I was appointed Consultant Anaesthetist to a group of run down ex-workhouses in Birkenhead. On proudly informing my referee (and role model) Dr Jackson Rees of this, he shook his head in disbelief and walked off muttering 'Oh dear, oh dear, . . .'
The LSA reappeared in my life when I joined the committee in 1985 and became Hon Secretary in 1989, a post I held until 2004 - a tribute to the inertia of the Society's officers. Having been puppet master for so long, I am now somewhat bemused at finding myself on the wrong end of the strings.
Two long term interests have been dental chair anaesthesia and intensive care, both largely self-taught and characterised by off-the-map physiology and tremendous fun. Over 25 years I gave some 2,000 chair anaesthesthetics per year at more than 20 dental practices. Sadly, the restrictions imposed by the great and the good have made it a thing of the past, but I still have an active commitment to Critical Care though admit to being some way behind its cutting edge.
More recently I have taken up military anaesthesia by joining the TA, having the dubious distinction of being the oldest recruit to pass the entry officers' course at 2 Med Brigade in York. I have deployed as an anaesthetist / intensivist twice to Iraq and experienced less demanding duties at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus and at RAF Fairford in Gloucester, where I manned the ad hoc ICU set up for the Royal International Air Tatoo. I am a member of the Triservice Anaesthetic Society and enjoy meeting old comrades-at-arms through the fog of war and alcohol.
In civilian life my chief interest is reading, mainly fiction and military history. I also swim, run slowly and fight a rearguard action with an overgrown garden. Finally, I want to continue the ethos of the Society as a friendly meeting place for anaesthetists of all grades. All are welcome, members and non-members.
Dr John Chambers