Patricia Marie Buckfield was born in England. The first part of her schooling was in Surrey, but the latter part in Christchurch, New Zealand. She went on to the University of Otago and graduated MB ChB in 1958. I remember her as a lively and amusing fellow student in whose company it was a delight to be.
She soon became interested in paediatrics and after periods as a paediatric registrar in Auckland and as a medical registrar in Dunedin, she came back to the United Kingdom for postgraduate training. She was paediatric registrar at the Hammersmith Hospital from 1965 to 1967, where she worked with Sir Peter Tizard [Munk’s Roll, Vol.IX, p.518].
In 1967 Patricia returned to her old university in Dunedin where she was successively lecturer and senior lecturer in paediatrics, while holding the appointment of specialist paediatrician to the Otago Hospital Board. Here she pioneered in New Zealand the development of neonatal intensive care. In 1982 she moved to Wellington as a specialist in developmental paediatrics. This subject occupied her for the remainder of her life. One of her major achievements was to set up and exploit a longitudinal study of child development which still continues, with over 95% of the 1000 neonates originally recruited still being followed 27 years later. Beyond the hospital she was influential in organizations concerned with the broader aspects of child care.
W I McDonald