Professor H.M. Pickard

Past president: 1968-1969

Professor H.M. Pickard

Professor Huia Masters Pickard (Pick) died on 77th July 2002, aged 93 years old. He was born in New Zealand and was brought to England while he was still very young. He studied dentistry at the Royal Dental Hospital (RDH) Leicester Square, starting in 1927 and then qualified in medicine at Charing Cross Hospital. After house jobs at RDH he entered practice working with Wilfred Fish. His war years were spent in the UK and North Africa as a medical officer with the Royal Army Medical Corps where he undertook General Medicine and Surgical work but was latterly a trainee surgical specialist.

After the 2nd World War Pick returned to dentistry spending half his week teaching conservative dentistry at RDH and half in private practice in Harley Street. In 1947 he completed his FDS by examination and in 1954 took a full time lecturer’s post at RDH, being promoted to reader in 1956 and Professor of Conservative Dentistry in 1966. He retired in 1974.

Pick had certain views on dentistry and and teaching that he held dear. He was totally committed to the part-time teacher who also worked in practice and to the concept of restorative dentistry; indeed he was a founder member and first president of the British Society of Restorative Dentistry. He divided his restorative department into three divisions: conservative dentistry, fixed and removable prosthodontics, and complete dentures. He wanted to see young hospital dentists with a broad training in each area and hoped his young teaching staff would have the knowledge and training to teach across the disciplines. Some of his colleagues at the time were slow in grasping these concepts but in retirement he saw his ideas put into practice in many dental schools.

His textbook; A Manual of Operative Dentistry, was first published in 1961 and after producing five editions himself, he asked two new authors to help him completely rewrite and update the text.

Pick was an excellent clinician, a wonderful teacher and a man with strong and progressive views about how dentistry should be taught and practiced. He was the first to admit he was a poor administrator and perhaps this is one reason why he fell in love with and married Daffy, who could organise anything — including him.

He was very proud of their two daughters, and his grandchildren.

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