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Dusty Allen Rediscovered

THIS IS THE BIOGRAPHY OF DR I.M. ALLEN, better known as "Dusty" Allen to his colleagues. He was the first fully trained neurologist to practise in New Zealand. Allen was a controversial figure in the history of New Zealand medicine. He was respected for his clinical acumen and formidable knowledge, but to many people he appeared reclusive and dour. His opposition to the way neurosurgery was being developed and his reluctance to refer patients for neurosurgery led to an acrimonious dispute with neurosurgeon Murray Falconer. Allen believed that patients with mental disorders were a neurologist's responsibility and this attitude made him unpopular with psychiatrists. He tried to enhance the role of specialists, but this was vigorously opposed by general physicians. Allen was a researcher and a prolific writer. He showed it was possible to combine clinical work with research without academic appointment or financial assistance. The study of neurology was his all-consuming passion. While there was much about Allen's life that distinguished it from that of his contemporaries, this biography vividly illustrates many of the typical features of life as a specialist in the first half of the 20th century: medical education in Dunedin, work as a house surgeon and in general practice, travelling to Britain as a ship's doctor, postgraduate training in Great Britain and the difficulties encountered in eking out a living as a specialist in New Zealand.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 7Preface 111. The roots of neurology 14PART ONE: Dusty Allen, his life2. Family: improved Scots 233. Per angusta ad augusta 284. Gratia et veritas 355. A medical career begins 496. Rangiora: general practice 567. New Zealand to England in eighty days 668. London: the education of a neurologist 759. Wellington: returning home 9510. Neurosurgery and Murray Falconer 10811. A voice in the wilderness 12712. The twilight of a career 145PART TWO: Dusty Allen, aspects13. Neurologist 15914. Psychiatrist 17415. Researcher and writer 19016. Teacher and mentor 20117. Family man 208PART THREE: The final years18. A unique physician 219Appendix 1: Chronology of Allen's Life 225Appendix 2: Allen's publications 227Appendix 3: Publications: supplementary material 235Bibliography 246Epigraphs 259Glossary 261Index 266


About the Author

NEIL ANDERSON is a neurologist at Auckland Hospital. He was born and raised in Auckland. After graduatingin medicine from the University of Auckland in 1978, he trained in neurology in Auckland and New York. In 1987 he was appointed as a consultant neurologist at Auckland Hospital. He has published many clinical and scientific papers, but this biography is his venture into medical history and biography.

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