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Bryan Leslie McFarland

Born  1900
Died  1963

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English Orthopaedist, Born July 18, 1900, Halesowen, Worcestershire; died January 23, 1963, Liverpool.

Biography of Bryan Leslie McFarland

Bryan Leslie McFarland was born in Halesowen, Worcestershire. His parents moved to Wallasey and he attended the Wallasey Grammar School. He studied medicine at the University of Liverpool, graduating in surgery and medicine in 1922. He obtained his medical doctorate in 1924, became master of orthopaedic surgery in 1926 and gained the fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1928. Twenty years later, in recognition of clinical and academic achievement, was elected fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England ad eundem.

McFarland was determined to serve crippled children. For a period he was house surgeon to the Liverpool Royal Infirmary and the Leasowe Children’s Hospital. He then worked as an assistant consultant to the Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital, and shortly afterwards to the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. He was assistant orthopaedic consultant to the David Lewis Northern Hospital from 1928 to 1933 when he became full consultant orthopaedic surgeon to the Royal Southern Hospital, remaining in that position until 1943.

He organized the aftercare clinics for West Lancashire, Liverpool, Caernarvon, Anglesey, and the Isle of Man. visiting all of them for twenty years and doing the associated surgical work. In 1948, McFarland succeeded Thomas Porter McMurray (1887-1949) as director of orthopaedic studies, and 1951 in the chair at the university.

In the early post-war years an ever-increasing number of postgraduates were attracted to Liverpool to take the M.Ch.Orth. course and degree. The continuing success of Liverpool as a unique centre of postgraduate training in orthopaedic surgery is due almost entirely to the enormous enthusiasm and energy which he applied to his task as director and later professor.

McFarland was a fonder member of the British editorial board of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, which was published from 1948.

For a period he was president of the British Orthopaedic Association and president of the Société Internationale de Chirurgie Orthopedique et de Traumatologie.

His favourite outdoor pastimes were wild-fowl shooting and angling.

McFarland belonged to a generation of orthopaedic surgeons who were much more concerned than the present day younger surgeon with crippling conditions. mostly in childhood, many of which are now happily things of the past. It was particularly in the field of children's orthopaedics that his main interest laid, and he was an authority on congenital deformities.

We thank André Trombeta for information submitted.


  • Protection of Surgeons. Postgraduate Medical Journal, London, 1950. 26: 364.
  • The crooked tree. Robert Jones Lecture, 1955. Biographical etc:
  • In memoriam. Bryan Leslie McFarland. Signed R. W-J.
    The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, February 1963, 45 B (1): 196-198.
  • R. Judet:
    [Bryan Leslie McFarland] Revue de chirurgie orthopédique et réparatrice de l'appareil moteur, May-June 1964, 50 : 403-404.

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