Dr Mike Weaver
The news of the sudden and tragic loss of Dr Weaver came as a devastating shock to our Northern School family
Mike trained in anaesthesia in the Northern School, followed by a period of post-CCT specialist training in paediatric anaesthesia in Pittsburg, USA. He worked as a consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead from 1996 to 2002, during which time he was College Tutor and Clinical Director. During this short period he transformed the department from a small “old school” department of around 5 consultants to a modern enthusiastic department, laying the foundations for its development to continue long after he left. Gateshead remains one of the most popular training hospitals in the region, and this is largely thanks to the immense impact Mike had during his short period there.
He left Gateshead to move to Newcastle so that he could pursue one of his major interests, paediatric anaesthesia. He worked at Freeman, and later at the RVI as well, until 2017, including a spell as College Tutor there. In addition to paediatrics, Mike had a strong interest in “airways” and was an enthusiastic member of the Difficult Airway Society.
In his role as a consultant, and in particular when acting as clinical director, he was fascinated by the area of medical errors, human factors etc. His knowledge in this area was extremely broad, drawing on his extensive reading of articles from non-medical areas. This enthusiasm came at a time when no one in medicine had even heard of the term “human factors”. As with so many other things, Mike was always one step ahead of the crowd!
Arguably (though Mike would deny this), it was in his role as Programme Director for the School, that Mike really stood out: The huge amount of compliments that came flooding in from so many trainees following his sad death, demonstrated how well respected he was by so many people. It was his personal touch and his unwavering interest in trainees’ wellbeing and their successes and failures, which bought him so much respect. In his role organising training placements, he would spend hours ensuring that every single one of the trainees he looked after was treated fairly and with kindness. His happiness in his job was determined by their happiness. For so many people he was an example of a classic role model. In his very modest way, of course, Mike never thought he did this job very well.
Mike’s unexpected death on 8th October 2017 came as such a shock to both his family, his friends, and the anaesthetic community in the Northern Region. There will never be anyone quite like him, and he will be sadly missed for a long time. He leaves 3 highly intelligent, successful and likable children, who will obviously miss him immensely. His impact on anaesthetic training in the region will continue long after his death.
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