Dr Gerald Wilson Black

Personal Details


05/02/1925 to 10/07/2019

Place of birth: Belfast

Nationality: British

CRN: 493730

Education and qualifications

General education

School not identified; Queen’s University, Belfast

Primary medical qualification(s)

MBBChBAO, Belfast, 1949

Initial Fellowship and type

FFARCS by Examination

Year of Fellowship


Other qualification(s)

DA, RCPSI, 1952; MD, Belfast, 1959 (Thesis: Some observations on the cardio-vascular effects of halothane in normal man; FFARCSI, 1961; PhD, Belfast, 1969 (Thesis: Sympatho-adrenal, circulatory, respiratory, and metabolic responses to halogenated anaesthetics; MRCPI, 1969 (F 1974)

Also known as


Professional life and career

Postgraduate career

No details of early posts have been established, but by 1953 Black was registrar in anaesthetics at Belfast’s City Hospital. He was subsequently registrar (1954-7) & SR (1957-9) at the Royal Victoria Hospital, then research associate in Pennsylvania before becoming a consultant to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children in 1961, an appointment he held until retirement in 1990.

Professional interests and activities

Described as a dedicated and delightful colleague, he was known for using his sense of humour to defuse tense moments in the operating theatre. Recognising, at the time of his apppiontment, the need for more intensive management of critically ill children he led the development of paediatric intensive care in Northern Ireland. Founder member of the APA, he was its president (1981-3) and awarded honorary membership (1995). Beyond his sub-specialty he was dean of the Irish faculty (1982-5) and vice president of the AAGBI. Through research, publication and presentations his long interest in volatile anaesthetics established him as an international authority, Queen’s University appointing him to an honorary lectureship in 1986.

Other biographical information

Married to Dorothy (an ophthalmologist who pre-deceased him), they had two daughters.  Interests included golf, travel, history, rugby & cricket.

Author and sources


Prof Tony Wildsmith

Sources and comments: 

[1] Obituary. Crean P. https://www.apagbi.org.uk/sites/default/files/inline-files/DR%20G%20W%20BLACK%20Final.pdf  [2] Medical Directory  [3] Thanks to Prof Rajinder Mirakhur for help with thesis information [4] A photo may be seen at BMJ 2020;369:m2425