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Biographical entry McRae, Colin Ulric (1942 - 2000)

MRCS and FRCS 1970; MB ChB Otago 1965; FRACS 1973.

18 March 1942
Waipukurau, New Zealand
25 July 2000


Colin McRae was a distinguished New Zealand surgeon and a former President of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He was born in Waipukurau, New Zealand, on 18 March 1942. His father, Colin, and mother, Freda, were both schoolteachers. He was educated at Henderson High School, Auckland, and Otago University. He was a house surgeon and registrar at Christchurch, before going to England in 1968 to specialise in surgery. He worked at the Hammersmith Hospital and in Plymouth before taking the FRCS. He then did a year as a research fellow under Geoffrey Chisholm at the Hammersmith, returning to New Zealand in 1972.

He worked in the urology department at Christchurch as a consultant urologist and clinical lecturer. He moved to Auckland in 1992, as clinical director of urology. He had busy and respected private practices in both cities.

He was keenly interested in medical education, taught on the RACS's Tomorrow's Surgeons programme, was a college examiner in urology for eight years from 1985, and was New Zealand censor for many years. He was elected to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Australasian Council in 1986, became treasurer, Vice-President and was President from 1996 to 1998, the first New Zealander in 25 years to achieve that position.

He was highly respected in international circles and was the recipient of honorary Fellowships and similar honours from medical organisations in Edinburgh, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore.

On moving back to Auckland in 1992, he rediscovered his childhood interest in sailing and fishing. He was fond of ballet, music and literature, and was a superb cook. He died on 25 July 2000, survived by his wife Beverley, son Andrew and daughters, Fiona and Emma.

Sources used to compile this entry: [RACS New Zealand Newsletter, Sept 2000; NZ Med J 2001 114 22].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England