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Dr Millen Coughtrey (1848 - 1908)

Anatomy Professor and St Clairs medical practioneer

Dr Millen CoughtreyMillen Coughtrey was born in Lancashire and graduated as a doctor from Edinburgh University in 1871. In 1875 he was selected as the foundation professor of anatomy at Otago University. Two years later he resigned this post when his right to operate a private medical practice at the same time was questioned. This was typical of Dr Coughtrey, a man who relished public disputes but was 'inflexibly upright' in his conduct. He established his own hospital at St Clair, on the street which now bears his name. This was the first medical institution of its type in the area.
Coughtrey was a man of diverse interests, who devoted much of his time to public service. He took a lead in establishing the Otago Medical Association, was a public vaccinator and gaol surgeon, served on the St Kilda Borough Council, the Dunedin Jockey Club committee and was President of the Otago Rugby Football Union from 1887-1890. He was also the Otago correspondent of the Royal Humane Society of Australasia. Coughtrey was renowned for his thorough approach to any matter. This sometimes exposed him to public ridicule as when he tried to advise the firm of Noyes Brothers on the electrification of the tram system in 1902. He was, nonetheless, held in high esteem by the Dunedin community which he served devotedly.

(Caricature, The Sketcher, Otago Settlers Museum Collection)

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