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Provosts & Vice-Chancellors WNSM/UWCM (1931-2004)

Alfred William Sheen
Alfred William Sheen CBE MS FRCS
Provost, Welsh National School of Medicine (1931-1945)

Born in 1869, Alfred Sheen, son of an early pioneer of the Medical School, received his early education in Cardiff, then at Guy’s Hospital London, qualifying in 1892. He was a surgeon in the Boer War, and during the First World War a Senior Surgeon to the 34th General Hospital and then several Indian Hospitals. He was made a CBE in 1918 as a result of his services. He became Professor of Surgery and Director of the Surgical Unit at Cardiff in 1921, Dean of the Medical School in 1926, and was appointed Provost of the newly-established WNSM in 1931.


Ralph M.F. Picken
Ralph M.F. Picken CBE BSc MB ChB DP
Provost, Welsh National School of Medicine (1947-1955)

Appointed Medical Officer of Health for Cardiff in 1921, Professor Ralph Picken took a major part in conceiving and overseeing many new developments. Particularly significant was the building of the large General Hospital at Llandough, which later became one of the clinical institutions of the WNSM. In 1933, he was appointed Mansel Talbot Professor of Preventive Medicine and began to bring his influence as teacher and administrator upon the WNSM. Appointed Provost in 1947, he worked tirelessly to reshape the School of Medicine in the post-war years. His immediate priority was to find a site for the new medical teaching centre and he chaired the working group who produced a detailed schedule of the accommodation required. By 1950 a site had been found, but sadly another 20 years were to elapse before Professor Picken’s mission was finally accomplished.

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A. Trevor Jones
A. Trevor Jones LLD MD FRCP DPH
Provost, Welsh National School of Medicine (1955-1969)

A graduate of Cardiff and University College, London he was appointed Medical Superintendent to Swansea Hospital in 1930, and in 1935 became a Medical Officer at the Welsh Board of Health. He spent the war years evaluating hospital facilities in Wales and quickly recognised the importance in the post-war period of expanding medical training in Wales. In 1947, he was appointed as the first Senior Administration Medical Officer of the newly-established Welsh Regional Hospital Board. In 1955, he was appointed Provost and spent the early part of his term building up the student population and the latter half working towards the building of the Heath Park site. He retired from the Provostship in 1969, but continued to serve on the Board of Governors and the Hospital Management Committee.

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Patrick David Mounsey
Patrick David Mounsey LLD M MD FRCP
Provost, Welsh National School of Medicine (1969-1979) - pictured right

Patrick Mounsey (pictured right) was born in 1914 and studied classics and modern languages at Cambridge before turning to medicine. A gifted administrator, he was appointed Sub-Dean of the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in 1962, and later in 1967 made Deputy Director of the British Postgraduate Medical Federation. In 1969, he was appointed Provost of WNSM and had the difficult task of negotiating the move to the Heath Park Site during the early seventies.

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Sir Herbert Duthie
Sir Herbert Duthie MD ChM Hon LLD FRCS Eng
Provost, Welsh National School of Medicine/University of Wales College of Medicine (1979-1994)

Herbert Duthie held academic appointments in Glasgow, Rochester, Leeds and Minnesota before moving to Sheffield University where he became Professor of Surgery and Head of the Department in 1964. He served as Chairman of the Association of Professors of Surgery, as a member of the General Medical Council and President of the Surgical Research Society. Appointed Provost of WNSM in 1979, he was awarded a Knighthood in 1987. During his Provostship, the College ‘came of age’, achieving formal parity with other constituent institutions of the University of Wales and full membership of the UK Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals. He retired from the Provostship in 1994. Highly supportive of library and information services, the medical library at UWCM was named after him.

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Professor Ian Cameron
Professor Ian Cameron CBE MA DM Hon LLD FRCP FMedSci
Vice-Chancellor, University of Wales College of Medicine (1994-2001)

Professor Cameron served as Provost and Vice Chancellor of UWCM from 1994 to 2001. During his period at UWCM the College expanded greatly when in 1995 the South East Wales Institute of Nursing & Midwifery Education and Institute of Health Care Studies, both previously managed by the NHS, were amalgamated with the College. During the same period the new medical curriculum was introduced and the first cohort of students to graduate from the new course did so in 2000. Under his leadership, the College entered the 21st century as the major provider of health care courses in Wales, transforming the College into a ‘health care university’ in the widest sense.

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Professor Stephen Tomlinson
Professor Stephen Tomlinson CBE, MD, DSc(hon), FRCP, FMedSci
Vice-Chancellor, University of Wales College of Medicine (2001-2004)

In 1969 served as House Surgeon under Herbert Duthie, a previous Vice-Chancellor of UWCM. He was previously Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing at Manchester, Professor Tomlinson took up his post as Vice-Chancellor on 1st August, 2001. He was responsible for a radical review of the Manchester Undergraduate Medical Curriculum. His research interests have focused on studies of intracellular signalling in endocrine cells and clinical studies of diabetic complications. He was also a Founder Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and President of the Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland in 2002-2003. Professor Tomlinson was the architect of the merger between UWCM and University of Wales, Cardiff in 2004, thereby creating the new ‘Cardiff University’. He was awarded an honorary degree of DSc by the University of Sheffield in 2012,and became CBE for services to medicine in 2007.