OW Clubs and Societies

Medical Society

The Old Wykehamist Medical Society was founded almost 30 years ago, initially as a social organisation with an annual dinner in London. We were privileged to have distinguished guests of honour including Lord Howe of Aberavon (E, 1940-45), Enoch Powell and Lord Whitelaw (I, 1936-41). One of our founders, Harvey White FRCS (G, 1949-54), remains an officer of the Society.

In 1982 the Society funded the striking of the Thomas Browne Medal as the School biology prize, named after Thomas Browne (1605 - 82; Coll, 1616-22) who is arguably the most notable OW doctor and philosopher. The medal was commissioned from Nigel Boonham, who was to become President of the Society of Sculptors and recently worked on the statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square, London.

The medal features aspects of Thomas Browne’s symbolism, such as the quincunx. Moberly Library has a first edition of his complete works and an account of his association with the School can be found here.

After a few years Eton College followed our example and we were pleased to help them with their constitution. Since that time we have held joint dinners with them – two memorable ones at Winchester with Lord Wakeham and Sir Jeremy Morse as guests of honour.

We also have an association with the Old Harrovian Medical Society. The schools have started a tripartite medical essay competition which has been won in the first two years by Wykehamists: Theo Bartholomew (G, 2004-09) and Alex Blakes (A, 2005-10). Ultimately we hope to widen this as a charitable educational endeavour.

Our aim is to provide encouragement and support for those contemplating a career in medicine and to help with work experience and mentoring. Having started as a dining club, we now regard our responsibility for the young entering the profession as our prime objective, particularly at a time when most medical students are now female. Our president is Professor John Stein (C, 1954-59) and the secretary is Mr Hamish Laing (F, 1972-76). 

Membership is open to any Old Wykehamist who has qualified in medicine or who is a current medical student. We currently have over 320 members, the majority in the UK but with a significant number abroad, mostly in Canada, USA and Australia. A wide range of medical careers is represented from General Practice to Hospital specialties and includes both the distinguished and the newly qualified.

Please contact the Honorary Secretary for more details or if you would be interested in helping the Society in any way.
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Winchester College Society, Donovan's, 73 Kingsgate Street, Winchester, SO23 9PE.                        Registered Charity no. 1139000