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Professor Munro Kerr (1868–1960) of Glasgow and caesarean delivery
  1. Peter M Dunn
  1. Department of Child Health, University of Bristol, Southmead Hospital, Southmead, Bristol
  1. Prof Peter M Dunn, Department of Child Health, Southmead Hospital, Southmead Road Bristol BS10 5NB, UK; Email: p.m.dunn{at}

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John Martin Munro Kerr was born on December 5th, 1868, the son of a Glasgow ship owner. After his education at The Glasgow Academy, he trained in medicine at the University of Glasgow and graduated MB, CM in 1890 at 22 years of age. After junior appointments in Glasgow, he received further training at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, before studying in Jena and Berlin, Germany. On his return to Glasgow in 1894 he became assistant to Murdoch Cameron, Regius Professor of Midwifery at the University. From that time on his rise in the profession was rapid. In 1895, at the age of 27, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the following year he was appointed to the staff of the Royal Maternity Hospital.15 In 1908 he was awarded an MD from the University of Glasgow, with high commendation for his thesis, entitled Operative Midwifery. The text of this thesis was published the same year6 and has gone through many editions since, changing its title to Operative Obstetrics7 in 1937. In 1911 Munro Kerr became the first incumbent of the Muirhead Chair of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Glasgow. A second important publication, of which he was the main author, appeared in 1923. This work, the Combined textbook of obstetrics and gynaecology for students and medical practitioners,8 had a powerful influence on bringing together the disciplines of obstetric medicine and gynaecological surgery and also went through many editions up to the present time. In 1927 Munro Kerr succeeded Murdoch Cameron as Regius Professor of Midwifery in the university, a post he held until his retirement in 1934. A third major publication appeared in 1933, with the title Maternal mortality and morbidity: a study of …

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