Edit Magazine

Medicine then and now

We brought together three current Medicine students and three alumni from earlier generations.

Runa MacKay
Runa Mackay. Photograph: Maverick Photo Agency

We hope you enjoy the revelations and resonances as the three conversations unfold. Listen out for the arrival of penicillin, fines for students being badly dressed, and comparing notes on clinical attachments, electives, teaching methods and extra-curricular fun. We also have three galleries of images reflecting some of the themes discussed in the videos, and we are especially grateful to John Guy for sharing photographs he took as a student in the early 1960s.

Runa Mackay and Amy Perkins

Alumna: Runa Mackay

Year of Graduation: MBChB 1944, MD 1952

Place of birth: Sutton upon Hull

Specialty: Paediatrics

Student: Amy Perkins

Year of graduation: 2016

Place of birth: Chichester; grew up in Dumfries

Conversation gems: Arrival of penicillin, arrival of the National Health Service; ‘Call the Midwife’; electives overseas

Professor Alan Rodger and Simon Cais

Alumnus: Professor Alan Rodger

Year of graduation: BSc 1968, MBChB 1971

Place of birth: Kirkcaldy

Specialty: Clinical oncology and breast cancer patient care

Student: Simon Cais

Year of graduation: 2016

Place of birth: Glasgow

Conversation gems: The artist’s flat; dress code and fines; future of teaching; the price of pies

John Guy and Genevieve McMahon

Alumnus: John Guy

Year of Graduation: MBChB 1963

Place of birth: Derby

Specialty: Orthopaedics and trauma

Student: Genevieve McMahon

Year of graduation: 2019

Place of birth: Shrewsbury

Conversation gems: Rowing; keeping the bus going; the Principal’s race; The Medics’ Reveal


The images below reflect some of the themes discussed in the videos.

We’re especially grateful to John Guy for sharing a collection of photographs he took in the 1960s.

Runa Mackay at Nazareth Hospital
Runa at the Nazareth Hospital in Israel, where she arrived in 1955 and worked for two decades.
Runa Mackay visit to Little France
Runa during a visit in Februaray 2015 to the clinical skills laboratory at Little France. Photograph: Maverick Photo Agency.
Anatomy Lecture Theatre 1963
Anatomy Lecture Theatre, c1963. Photograph: John Guy.
Anatomy Teaching Lab 1963
Anatomy Teaching Lab, c 1963. Photograph: John Guy.
Edinburgh University Boat Club 1963
Edinburgh University Boat Club, c1963. Photograph: John Guy.
Relaxing on the Meadows 1963
Relaxing on the Meadows, c1963. Photograph: John Guy.