UDOTS welcomes daughter of Professor Ian Smillie

Published on 5 July 2024

We were delighted to welcome Clair, daughter of Professor Ian Smillie, and her husband, Vincent Ryan to UDOTS recently.

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When Clair Ryan got in touch to ask to visit the department where her father was the first Professor of Orthopaedics, we were delighted to help. Clair was back in Dundee to celebrate her own connections with the University of Dundee, having graduated from Medicine in 1974. She and her husband, Vincent, attended a reunion to celebrate the 50th anniversary since graduating from the University. During the reunion, Clair and Vincent were part of the celebrations being held at the Invercarse Hotel, with the reunion also including a tour of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification where our current students are taught human anatomy, using the very unique Thiel embalming methods to produce near life like cadavers.

During their visit to UDOTS, Clair and Vincent met the current Head of Academic Orthopaedic Department (UDOTS) Professor Arpit Jariwala and the team, seeing firsthand how the department has changed over the years. Still pride of place in the department is the framed ‘The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Hall of Fame’ Award presented to Professor Smillie and his tendon hammer. It was also quite fitting that Clair and Vincent met Professor Jariwala, who himself was a recipient of the Ian Smillie Award for Best Overall Performance on the MChOrth course in 2003.

Several years ago, Clair made a donation to commemorate her father which saw her naming a seat in the Gannochy Trust Lecture Theatre. She and Vincent also had the opportunity to see the donor seat plan and Lecture Theatre as part of their visit.

Professor Arpit Jariwala said, “ It truly was an amazing experience to meet Dr Clair Ryan, an Alumnus of Dundee Medical School and daughter of Professor Ian Smillie with her husband. She was pleased to know that the tradition of awarding the prestigious 'Ian Smillie prize' for the best overall performance in MChOrth Dundee course continues to date.

"Dr Ryan shared some interesting and funny memories of Professor Smillie's orthopaedic time in Dundee with the UDOTS team. Dr Ryan felt pleased and proud of how the department had progressed over time delivering high quality teaching and training to students across the world''.