Dr Dorothy McNair

Personal Details


22/11/1896 to 11/04/1975

Place of birth: Sutton, Surrey

Nationality: British

CRN: 715585

Education and qualifications

General education

School unknown; London School of Medicine for Women (later Royal Free), but archive not readily accessible

Primary medical qualification(s)

MBBS, London, 1921

Initial Fellowship and type

FFARCS by Election

Year of Fellowship


Other qualification(s)

MD, London, 1924 (by examination)

Professional life and career

Postgraduate career

Early appointments included casualty officer & senior obstetric assistant, both at the Royal Free, then house surgeon at the South London Hospital for Women before going into practice in Dulwich. During the 1930s she started working as anaesthetist to the South London Hospital for Women, a connection that was to last until her retirement in 1962. During WW2, working right through the Blitz, she was also anaesthetist to Sydenham Children’s Hospital. She became a full time anaesthetist after the inception of the NHS in 1948.

Professional interests and activities

Much appreciated as a colleague, she had two great professional interests: an ongoing interest in the many handicapped children who had been her patients; and a commitment to administrative & committee work, notably in regard to gender equality, being president (1963-4) of the Medical Women’s Federation.

Other biographical information

Daughter of a Scot who was a Lloyds Underwriter she never married, but lived with one of her brothers, Sir William McNair (an eminent lawyer), in retirement, sharing a passion for the highlands & fishing. She was active in the ‘life’ of Dulwich, where she lived, serving as a governor of James Allen’s Girls School.

Author and Sources

Author: Prof Tony Wildsmith

Sources and any other comments: Obituary. BMJ 1975; 2: 197 | Medical Directory | Senate House Library, University of London