FRRHH pay tribute to Nelson Norman

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21 Oct 2022

The Faculty of Remote, Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare sends its condolences to the family and loved ones of Professor John Nelson Norman, surgeon and pioneer in remote medicine, who passed away on 27 September 2022.

Nelson Norman is considered by many to be the ideological grandfather of what is now the Faculty of Remote, Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare (FRRHH), becoming a pioneer and inspiring advocate for remote medicine during his long and impressive career. A fellow of the College from 1967, Norman went on to assist in the establishment of the Centre for Offshore Health and the medical department of the Offshore Survival Centre at Robert Gordon’s Institute of Technology in Aberdeen. Norman’s research at Halley Bay, Antarctica proved to be a significant step in his life that led to his expertise in hostile environments such as offshore oil rigs. The system he pioneered in the North Sea was then introduced to the British Antarctic Survey. For his work, Norman was awarded the Polar Medal by the late Queen Elizabeth II in 1999. 

Dr Alistair Fraser, first chair of the Faculty of Remote, Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare (FRRHH), said:

Nelson was an individual driving force in the early development of the concept of a faculty of remote health care. His input contributed to what has evolved to become the Faculty of Remote, Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare. He had decades of experience working to train, develop and support doctors, nurses, medics, paramedics and first aiders, who work in remote or challenging parts of world, and he is remembered fondly by them. The faculty recognises Nelson’s considerable positive contributions to its development and to the discipline of remote health care.

Dr. Rikard Moen, Current Chair of the Faculty of Remote, Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare (FRRHH), said:

At 87 years old, Nelson travelled halfway around the world to Tomsk in rural Siberia to bestow his knowledge and unparalleled experience on remote healthcare to the newly appointed Chairman of FRRHH. The faculty will always be eternally grateful to Nelson for his visionary and relentless advocation for making healthcare accessible for those even in the most remote locations around the world. We will continue to build on Nelsons legacy.

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