oa Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia - Pioneers in South African Anaesthesia : Dr Heyman Harold (Heymie) Samson, anaesthetic innovator : vignettes of South African anaesthesic history

Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2220-1181
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1173



Dr Heymie Samson was born in Cape Town in 1911, matriculated at the South African College School in 1928, and studied medicine at London University. In 1938, he returned to general practice in Cape Town and married his wife, Phyllis. He volunteered for military service when war broke out in September 1939. He became the first South African to be awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for gallantry in the North African Campaign. His interest in anaesthesia flourished during this period. He registered as a specialist anaesthetist in 1943, and in the same year while stationed at Voortrekkerhoogte became a founder member of the South African Society of Anaesthesiologists. After the war, he went into private practice in Johannesburg, while maintaining his academic link as an honorary member of the anaesthetic staff at the Johannesburg General Hospital until 1950. He returned to academic medicine as a part-time senior anaesthetist in the Johannesburg department in the early 1960s, a position which he held until 1980.

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