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Sydney M Laird, BSc, MD, DPH, FRCP (1911–2001)
  1. R S Morton,
  2. R B Roy

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    The death of Sydney Laird sees the passing of the last of that group of venereologists who distinguished themselves in wartime, who ensured that the specialty had equal status with others with the establishment of the National Health Service, and who over the following 25–30 years gave a well sustained lead to ensure that the specialty coped with the growing demands on its service.

    After qualifying in 1934, Sydney Laird filled a series of junior posts over 3 years, including appointments in dermatology and gynaecology, before becoming an assistant VD officer in Liverpool. In 1937 he acquired his DPH from the University of Liverpool, his MD on research into the association of heart and gall bladder disease, and the fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow with venereology as his special subject. Little wonder that he was appointed venereologist in Stoke on Trent and assistant dermatologist at North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary in 1938. In 1939 he visited VD departments in Sweden and Denmark where he found support for his liberal views about the care of the venereally …

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