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Biographical entry Brunnen, Peter Lance (1917 - 2001)

MB ChB Aberdeen 1939; FRCS Edin 1948; FRCS 1948; FACCP 1958.

19 July 1917
March 2001
Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire
Thoracic surgeon


Peter Lance Brunnen was a consultant thoracic surgeon to the North East Regional Hospital Board, Scotland. He was born in Rosyth, Scotland, on 19 July 1917. His father, John Ewart Brunnen, was an electrical engineer; his mother, Elsie Victoria Augusta Brunnen née Lance was the daughter of an inspector in the London Metropolitan Police. He was educated at Kingsbridge Grammar School, Devon, and then studied medicine at Aberdeen University, where he was a medallist in anatomy and qualified in 1939.

After junior posts, he served during the Second World War from April 1942 to March 1947 as a captain and graded surgeon.

After training in surgery, he was appointed as a consultant thoracic surgeon to the North East Regional Hospital Board in Scotland and as a clinical senior lecturer in thoracic surgery at the University of Aberdeen. He wrote several papers on oesophageal problems.

He listed two surgeons who had particularly influenced him - Lord Brock, with whom he worked when he was a cardiovascular research fellow (from 1951 to 1952), and W E Adams, a mentor when he was at the University of Chicago on a travelling fellowship from the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (from 1957 to 1958).

Outside medicine, he enjoyed music, painting and languages.

In 1943 he married Margaret Brown, the daughter of a GP in Aberdeen. They had two daughters and a son. Peter Lance Brunnen died in March 2001 at the age of 83.

Sarah Gillam

The Royal College of Surgeons of England