|Description||Tait was born in Edinburgh and graduated in medicine from the University in 1933. He held house posts in Leith Hospital and in the Little Bromwich Fever Hospital, Birmingham before being appointed Assistant Medical Officer to the City of Edinburgh Maternity and Child Welfare Scheme. He eventually rose to be the Senior Medical Officer of the renamed Community Child Health Service of Lothian Health Board. |
He became interested in public health and took his Diploma in Public Health in 1935. He was made a member of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in 1940 and a fellow in 1944. He was exempted from military service due to his deafness.
He studied the epidemiology of various diseases, including smallpox and diphtheria, and wrote a joint report on the smallpox outbreak in Edinburgh in 1943. He was also interested in the history of medicine, helping to found the Scottish Society for the History of Medicine in 1948. Sir Henry Littlejohn was one of his heroes and he wrote a book about the Edinburgh Health Department that Littlejohn founded in a book titled 'A Doctor and Two Policemen'.
In 1947 He succeeded Dr T Y Finlay as head of the child welfare service which included the posts of visiting physician to the children's ward at the Western General Hospital and physician in charge of newborn infants in the Eastern General. He was later appointed senior lecturer in preventive paediatrics at Edinburgh
and contributed a chapter on the subject to Forfar & Arneil's 'Textbook of Paediatrics' (1973).
In 1967 he spent some time in Baroda, India under the auspices of the World Health Organisation as visiting professor of preventive paediatrics. He wrote an article for 'Medical History' on the evolution and present status of the health services in India and Burma.
[Source: obituary by Joan P S Ferguson in the Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh]
Contents: Lecture notes, 1935; notebooks on history of medicine, c1930-1984; photographs and slides, 1914-1980s; publications by Tait, 1950-1963; subject files of cuttings and articles, 1847-1989; publications collected by Tait, 1917-1989; index to articles