Obituary: Marion Miller, obstetrics and gynaecology specialist in Edinburgh hospitals

Dr Marion Miller
Dr Marion Miller
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Marion Miller, doctor. Born: 16 January 1927. Died: 10 May 2019, aged 92.

Dr Marion Miller was born in ­Dundee in 1927 and grew up with her four ­sisters on Perth Road.

The sisters were all ­baptised in Tay Square ­United Free Church where their father, who was one of the first ­qualified and licensed ­chiropodists in Dundee, was also a lay preacher and ­superintendent of the Sunday School.

Everyone in the family played an instrument and musical evenings at home and performances at church socials and concerts were the order of the day.

Marion was educated at the Demonstration School in Park Place and then Harris ­Academy, where she gained dux in biology and was captain in her final year. Marion was a keen sportswoman, involved with swimming, hockey, ­tennis and cycling and told tales of round-Scotland youth hostelling trips during the summer holidays.Academically very able, she was third of 129 ­candidates in a competition for university entrance bursaries, ­winning the Armitstead bursary in 1945, with scholarships and other bursaries to St Andrew’s University following each year afterwards.

At St Andrews she passed many of her exams in the first rank of Honours, many with ­merit, collected several class ­medals and graduated MBChB in medicine with commendations in 1950.

Postgraduate training took place in Maryfield Hospital and Dundee Royal Infirmary, but she also worked in Fife, Edinburgh and London. In her first post in Ayrshire, she was expected to be able to drive and have a car. She succeeded in achieving both – within the fortnight before starting work!

Specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology, she trained with Professor Margaret ­Fairlie, and later Professor James Walker.

She became a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in 1956, and later a fellow of the same college and also a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

In 1962 she was appointed as a consultant to the Women’s Hospitals in Edinburgh (the now closed Elsie Inglis Memorial Maternity and Bruntsfield Hospitals) and served in that capacity for more than 17 years, retiring prematurely due to recurrent ill-health and spinal problems in 1979. She has said she owed her renewed ability to walk to Mr Ivan Jacobson, neurosurgeon at Dundee Royal Infirmary.

On retirement, her ­colleagues ­presented her with a typewriter and dictating machine.

After retiral, she was not idle, being involved with work among the disabled and ­elderly; taking the role of honorary treasurer with the ­Disability Income Group Charitable Trust (Scotland); becoming an elder with ­Gorgie Parish Church and, over the following 20 years or so, writing freelance articles, mainly about women’s health, for medical journals, the Scotsman, various Dundee papers and publications. Her hobby was writing bothy ­ballads in the local dialect.

She was loved and admired by her family and many friends who all enjoyed her company and counsel – especially at her home in Newport where the piano in ‘the Bothy’ and the gloriously unique garden gave such pleasure to all.

PAT CARSON