Graves Lecture 1973

17/09/1973 in Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, 6, Kildare Street, Dublin 2

Donald G. Weir, Department of Clinical Medicine, Trinity College and Department of Gastroenterology, Sir Patrick Dun’s Hospital, Dublin.

The Pathogenesis of Folic Acid Deficiency in Man

Each year in this lecture we honour the name of Dr. Robert Graves, a physician, writer and philosopher of the early nineteenth century. The lustre his name has added to Irish medicine throughout the world needs no elaboration. I must however confess that I was pleasantly surprised to learn of the approbation with which he was received by his contemporary physicians in Europe. It is all too easy to dismiss Dr. Graves as the writer of a not very accurate account of primary thyrotoxicosis when in fact in the context of the diseases with which he was confronted he made many other original contributions. His treatise on the ‘Practice of Medicine’ (1864) is understandably heavily weighted towards a discussion of the diagnosis and treatment of fevers and it is of interest that one of his edicts which gained international acclaim during his own life time was that the treatment of infections was better conducted by ensuring that the patient received adequate nourishment rather than the then widely held belief that a fever should be starved. In delivering this the thirteenth Graves lecture it seems appropriate that the work which forms the content of my talk should have started in the Meath Hospital where Dr. Graves both practised and taught.

Irish Journal of Medical Science, , Volume 143, Issue 1, pp 3–20

This being the thirteenth Graves Lecture since its beginnings in 1961.