Vol. 17 No 1 | Autumn 2015
Obituary: Ian Alexander MacIsaac

This article is 9 years old and may no longer reflect current clinical practice.

Ian Alexander MacIsaac
(1932 – 2014)

Ian Alexander MacIsaac was born on 17 June 1932, in Mooroopna in country Victoria. His primary education was in Euroa and his secondary education was at Assumption College in Kilmore. His medical degree was from Melbourne University and he graduated in 1956. He was a resident of Newman College during his studies.

His early training was at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne. In 1960 Ian, accompanied his wife Ruth and his son, went to England, travelling as a ship’s doctor to save money. In England he worked at Queen Charlotte’s and the Chelsea Hospital for Women in London and later in Middlesbrough. He obtained Fellowships from both the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Surgeons.

On returning to Australia, Ian was one of the original group of consultants to staff the new Mercy Maternity Hospital, as it was originally known, when it opened in 1971, in East Melbourne. He was later head of one of the obstetric and gynaecology units. He also established a very large and successful private practice in obstetrics and gynaecology and was much loved by his patients and respected by his colleagues.

Ian was a teacher, role model and mentor to all the who worked with him at the Mercy. He was the person who would be called, even by experienced clinicians, when they had a difficult obstetric or surgical problem and he would always be available for them. He was noted for his calm demeanour, endless patience and tolerance.

When he stepped down from his role as head of unit, he continued to work in antenatal clinic and assisting his junior colleagues. It was very reassuring to have Ian as a surgical assistant, knowing that if difficulties arose he had the experience to help and guide.

The love of Ian’s life was his wife Ruth. When she became unwell, he immediately stopped work to nurse her through her final illness. Ian was immensely proud of his family of five sons, three of whom became physicians. The other passion in Ian’s life was the Richmond football club and, typical of Ian, his support never wavered, no matter how their fortunes varied.

Ian died suddenly on 20 June 2014. He is survived by his five sons and 18 grandchildren.

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