Stanley Turtle Anderson was born in Brighton-Le-Sands, Sydney, NSW. His parents had migrated from Northern Ireland. His father was John, a businessman in electrical goods and his mother was Joyce (nee Carson). Stanley was the second of six children.
Stan attended Canterbury Boys High School and following his matriculation was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship. His father had wished him to join the family business but he preferred to attend university and it is rumored that he chose medicine as it was the longest course for which he could use his Commonwealth Scholarship. He graduated from the University of Sydney in 1960.
He was appointed a resident medical officer at Sydney Hospital and continued in that position until 1965. Initially he had decided to train in radiology but only continued that for one year because he missed having patient contact. He then commenced training as a physician, obtaining his MRACP in 1965 and was appointed FRACP in 1973. In 1972, he became a member of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand and in 2004 was awarded the Fellowship of that Society.
In January 1966, he was appointed assistant physician to the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Service at The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne and remained in that position until 1969. He was then appointed deputy director of the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Service and later that department became the Department of Cardiology. Stan remained in that position until his retirement from The Alfred Hospital in 1995. Stan's interesting experiences in medicine included working as a locum with the Flying Doctor Service in South Australia and as a ship's doctor on board a cargo vessel plying from Sydney to Papua New Guinea.
Stan was intimately involved in the early days of advancements in cardiology techniques including cardiac catheterisation with transeptal puncture and coronary angiography. He was also involved in the early introduction of Holter monitoring and echocardiography and later trained in interventional cardiology including angioplasty and stent deployment.
Despite his involvement in these technologies, he remained an ardent clinical cardiologist. He had a particular love of electrocardiography which preceded modern electrophysiology. He enjoyed the challenge of deductive reasoning in the interpretation of electrocardiography. This was heightened at a time of sabbatical leave at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina when Stan participated in a weekly departmental seminar on electrocardiography and was the major contributor. He also enjoyed an early morning journal club which he initiated in 1970 and which continues to this day at the same time. Another major interest of Stan was artificial pacemaker insertion and analysis. Stan was responsible for the pacemaker program at The Alfred Hospital.
He retired from The Alfred Hospital in 1995 to enter full-time private practice in the southern suburbs of Melbourne. His hospital appointments included Masada Hospital and he continued interventional and invasive cardiological practice at St Francis Xavier Cabrini Hospital.
Whilst Stan did not wish to join the family business, he had a keen interest in financial matters. He was a long serving treasurer of the Whole Time Medical Specialists (WTMS) private practice scheme at The Alfred Hospital. This fund had been set up by the State Government to allow full-time medical specialists to conduct a limited private practice within public hospitals and to ensure that private patients had access to their expertise. At The Alfred Hospital, under Stan's stewardship, this fund achieved great success as his knowledge of financial investments resulted in the amount involved becoming significantly large. The hospital administrators sought access to these funds and Stan was instrumental in arranging a trust deed which allowed access to the fund only by its contributors. The purpose of the fund was to further educational and research needs of the various contributing departments.
Stan was also active in the Victorian State Branch of the Australian Medical Association (AMA). He joined the AMA Council in 1980, initially as the representative of the Senior Salaried Staff Subdivision and became chairman of that Subdivision and later the representative of the Australian Salaried Medical Officers Association (ASMOF.) He remained a member of the Victorian Branch Council until 1995. Stan was the state chairman of the Victorian Branch of ASMOF and the vice president of the national body. Other interests included membership of the Victorian State Hospital Superannuation Board.
Interests outside of medicine included active participation in the share market. He enjoyed an occasional game of golf and was an active reader, particularly of crime fiction.
Stan is survived by his wife Wendy (nee Newley), a theatre nurse whom he married in 1965, and their four children - 3 daughters and 1 son. Dianne is a neuropsychologist, Karen a biochemist undertaking research in the United Kingdom, Jennifer a general practitioner in Victoria and son Andrew has a PhD and is involved in academic optometry. Stan enjoyed one grandchild.
In his later years Stan suffered from leukaemia and his death was hastened by a rare neurological complication of the chemotherapy which he eventually required. Despite his long-standing illness, Stan continued in practice until just a few weeks prior to his death.
Stan enjoyed a large clinical practice, both during his term as a salaried cardiologist at The Alfred Hospital and during his years in private practice. For many years he was a consultant cardiologist to Melbourne Pathology.
His many patients loved and admired him. The senior year book of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney 1960, states the following: 'This cheerful, energetic little man, whom you may call Turtle, has won a high place in everyone's regard who has worked with him.' This comment, made 48 years before Stan's death, can confidently be stated to have been true for the remainder of his life, both as a cardiologist and a family man.
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