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Biographical entry Van Miert, Pieter James Marinus (1919 - 1967)

MRCS and FRCS 1949; MB National University of Ireland 1943; MCh 1948; DMRT 1951; FRCSI 1948; Hon FFRI 1964.

20 April 1967


Pieter Van Miert was born in Ireland and educated in Dublin at the Catholic University School and at University College where he graduated MB with first class honours in 1943. He immediately joined the RAMC and served in England and India till the end of the second world war in 1945. During the next six years he equipped himself as a surgeon and radiotherapist, taking the higher degrees listed above, and in 1951 was appointed radiotherapy registrar at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford. He moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1954 as radiotherapist at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, where the rest of his career was spent. He was elected an original Fellow of the new Faculty of Radiology of Ireland in 1964.

Van Miert was a complete doctor. He felt a deeply religious concern for his patients, especially those incurably ill, he was a skilful deviser of new methods of treatment, and he was an active research worker.

At first he was chiefly interested in radiological treatment of malignant disease of the female genital tract and collaborated closely with his gynaecological colleagues. Then he pioneered the treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip joint by placing cobalt-60 in the femoral head. In the laboratory he studied the fundamental effects of ionising radiation on the tissues, and was exploring the irradiation of the lymphatic capillaries in animals.

Van Miert died on 20 April 1967, aged 48 survived by his wife and children.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet 1967, 1, 1013 with appreciation by J K Russell].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England