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Biographical entry Thomas, Horatio Orishejolomi (1917 - 1979)

CBE 1953; Cross of Nigeria 1965; MRCS 1942; FRCS 1949; MB ChB Birmingham 1942.

31 August 1917
2 July 1979
General surgeon


Horatio Orishejolomi Thomas was a distinguished alumnus of Birmingham University Medical School. He was the first Nigerian surgeon to become FRCS and in April 1962 he was invited by the Federal government of Nigeria to establish a medical school and teaching hospital at Lagos. Later in that year (September) the hospital was open to patients and the medical school admitted 28 students. By the time these students had qualified in 1967 the Lagos University Medical School and teaching hospital had been recognised by international bodies in medical education and training. Thomas was Professor of Surgery there and Dean of the Medical School until 1967, First Provost until 1969. In 1972 he was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan.

He was a frequent visitor to England and his old medical school. He contributed to surgical and educational literature and was the author of Diseases of children in tropics and sub-tropics (1970). He was a member of the editorial committee of the British journal of surgery and for many years was editor of the West African medical journal. He served on several WHO committees.

He was born 31 August 1917 in Nigeria and was educated at Igboli College, Lagos before coming to Birmingham University. He was married, with three children. He died on 2 July 1979.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1979, 2, 219].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England