ADIPS & SOMANZ 2017

Prof Bill Hague

Made in China, produced in Hong Kong and brought up in the UK, Bill Hague had a classical education and was about to read law at Trinity College, Cambridge, when he changed direction.  After completing his undergraduate medical education at Cambridge and St Thomas' Hospital, London, he had an unorthodox career path, obtaining postgraduate qualifications in both O&G and Internal Medicine, first back in Cambridge, and then in Sheffield, at Queen Charlotte's Hospital, and finally at the Middlesex Hospital.  His various mentors included Professor Donald Munro (who had first described the Long Acting Thyroid Stimulator immunoglobulin in the aetiology of neonatal Graves’ disease), and Professor Michael de Swiet, the doyen of Obstetric Physicians.  He ended with the first ad hominem accreditation by the UK JCHMT in Endocrinology and Obstetric Medicine, but with nowhere in the UK to go, as the only obstetric medicine posts in the UK were all inhabited by people in their 50s!  So, with encouragement from Professors Jeffrey Robinson and Colin Matthews in Adelaide, he (together with Ros and the 3 children) came to Australia for a two-year adventure in 1988 as a Consultant Research Fellow and Clinical Senior Lecturer in the Department of O&G at the University of Adelaide, helping with the IVF programme and opening the first obstetric medicine clinic at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital alongside the late Dr Brian Pridmore.  The doors remained closed behind him in the UK, and remained open in Adelaide with further posts being created, first at the Queen Victoria Hospital, and in 1995 at the new Women's and Children's Hospital, where he and Mark Morton took on the new Obstetric Physician posts together, and where they have both remained.  In 1992, Bill invited interested people from both Australia and New Zealand for what proved to be the inaugural meeting of the Obstetric Medicine Group of Australasia at Leonard's Mill, Second Valley, SA, to which Michael de Swiet came as the invited international speaker.  Annual meetings followed on both sides of the Tasman under Bill's direction, and the numbers attending gradually grew.  In 1997 Bill was invited to become President of the Australasian Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy, and, together with Professor Mark Brown, led the production of the Second Consensus statement addressing The detection, investigation and management of hypertension in pregnancy.  After a meeting with Dr Ed Coetzee from South Africa, who had earlier championed work with oral hypoglycaemic agents in pregnancy, an interest was sparked in exploring the use of metformin in pregnancy.  Bill then met Janet Rowan in Auckland, and together they pioneered the Metformin in Gestational diabetes (MiG) trial, and its subsequent follow-up studies, which have turned the tide for the use of this drug in pregnancy worldwide, following the publication of the trial in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2008.  In 2005, following the amalgamation of OMGA and ASSHP to form SOMANZ, Bill stood down from his leadership role, and was given the award of the first Honorary Member of the new Society.  In November 2011, his clinical service work, teaching and research achievements were recognised by The University of Adelaide with a promotion to full Professor in Obstetric Medicine.  Although he is slowing down, he maintains an active clinical and research role, as well as teaching overseas.