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Biographical entry Milton, Gerald White (1924 - 2007)

FRCS 1951.

5 March 1924
24 April 2007
General surgeon and Oncologist


It is with sadness that we report the death of Gerry Milton, one of the pioneers of Melanoma Research and Development in Australia and a leading figure on the world melanoma scene. Born in India, educated in Adelaide, Gerry became the Bosch Professor of Surgery at the University of Sydney and the first professor of surgery at St Vincent's Hospital and subsequently at Sydney Hospital, where he initiated and developed the Sydney Melanoma Unit. The Melanoma Unit went on to become the largest and world leading center for melanoma management, research and development. He helped to initiate and develop the World Health Organization Melanoma Program and the subsequent World Melanoma Conferences.

Gerry Milton was influential in the development of two important areas of cancer management in Australia. He initiated and fostered multidisciplinary care, particularly with the innovation of nursing support by trained oncology nurses for patients in their own homes. The Oncology Home Nursing Service concept has been taken up by other cancer units. The second area of importance was the development of a major melanoma database, which is now the largest of its kind in the world containing data on more than 23,000 patients treated by the Melanoma Unit. This resource underpins the AJCC/UICC melanoma database which was used to develop the current melanoma classification system.

Among his many other contributions, Gerry Milton was Hunterian Professor at the Royal College of Surgeons, President of the Surgical Research Society of Australasia, and Co-director of the Garvin Institute of Medical Research during its early development.

Medical education was a major interest for Gerry Milton. He was a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher in the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate medical curricula at the University of Sydney. He was the author of many important papers on Melanoma, Medical Education and Surgical Research. He will be especially remembered for his energy and innovative ideas, his unqualified support of his colleagues, and his competent and caring management of his patients.

William H McCarthy

Sources used to compile this entry: [Republished by kind permission of the President and Council of The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons from In Memoriam (].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England