I am truly honoured to become President of the Liverpool Society of Anaesthetists for two years from October 2008. However great the glories bestowed upon me, those received at home mean the most.
When I returned to Liverpool from medical school in 1974, I came really to work in anaesthesia at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. I had already done two years in Dundee, but I was soon aware that I was now working in the Mecca of anaesthetic practice. To have such greats as G Jackson Rees, Gordon Bush, Tony Nightingale and Alan Stead supervising your every move, and simultaneously leading esoteric conversations was very stimulating. Alan Stead was President of the Liverpool Society of Anaesthetists (LSA) at that time and he soon made it clear that I was expected to attend every meeting during his reign. Without question, I did, and I shall always recall that for the first meeting I attended, I went with Dr Jacqui Dalton (an old school friend, then training in anaesthesia at Sefton General Hospital), both of us wearing long skirts and our best clothes!! That is now 34 years ago – I cannot believe it – but I have been a regular attender at LSA meetings ever since. When I was a senior registrar in the late 1970’s, I was the “junior rep.” on the LSA Committee. Tom Forrest and Tom Bryson were Presidents then and I shall always remember the warm and encouraging welcomes they both gave me to their Committee meetings. I will try and emulate them in this respect in the next two years.
As a senior registrar at Broadgreen Hospital in 1977, Dickie. Richardson encouraged me to apply for a lecturer’s job in the University Department of Anaesthesia, where John Utting had just taken up the Chair. At that time, I had never worked at the Liverpool Royal Infirmary and I was a stranger to the new Professor. He was kind enough to take me in as the University Department senior registrar, and there I started doing animal research under the tutelage of Ronald S Jones, soon to become the first Professor of Veterinary Anaesthesia in the UK. These two men had a profound effect on my professional life: they opened many doors for me and it is due to them and the constant encouragement of Dr J Edmund Riding, that I have achieved whatever I have achieved in the last 25 yr. Both Professor Utting and Dr Riding served as Presidents of the LSA during this time. I became the University Department representative on the LSA committee in the 1980’s for five years, and my links with this well established Society continued to grow.
So my ties with the LSA are long, strong, and emotive. I wish to see the present generation of trainee anaesthetists join this Society as I did, with their friends, and for them to continue to support it through bad times and good. In doing so they will establish long term friendships which span the generations, and contribute to the health and development of our speciality in Liverpool and beyond. All LSA members must be proud of their heritage and aim to contribute to its development throughout their career.
I look forward to meeting you all at LSA meetings over the next two years.
Jennifer M Hunter, MB ChB (St Andrews), PhD (Liverpool), FRCA
Editor-in-Chief, British Journal of Anaesthesia (BJA) 1997 – 2005
Chairman, BJA Board since 2005
Chairman, Scientific Programme Committee,
European Society of Anaesthesiologists (ESA) since 2005.