A Hard Day at the Orifice

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By Dr. John M. Miller

About the Book

Format Dimensions Pages
Softcover 6x9 378

This very personal account provides unique insights into the training and life of a dedicated Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. There are also fascinating accounts relating the history of the profession. Dr. Miller underwent extensive training both in Australia and overseas prestigious institutions.

In addition to delivering well in excess of fifteen thousand babies in his private practice, in his long career he was responsible for numerous thousands more in his roles as medical superintendent of the then largest maternity hospital in the state and specialist consultant in charge of units in large teaching hospitals.He was also a specialist surgeon.

The book is eminently readable and although there are descriptions of obstetric procedures and surgical operations it is certainly not a medical text.

His credo; – to be a good doctor one needs knowledge, proficiency in his craft, compassion and humility. Otherwise he will be merely skilled.



“While Dr. Miller’s reminiscences are bound to interest his peers and medical colleagues, they are written with a great deal of wit, verve and charm, and make fascinating reading for the layman.
The author’s lightness of touch makes the memoir accessible and easy to read, and while he deals with many topical issues ( I found the recollection of his experience in delivering one of the first Thalidomide babies deeply moving ), these moments are balanced by Dr. Miller’s obvious pride in his profession, and his delight in sharing many amusing anecdotes along the way.
No reader can close the final page without the feeling an enormous debt of gratitude to those who have have worked so tirelessly in this field to ensure our own or our loved ones’ safety during pregnancy and childbirth."
—Annette Gilbert, The Raven’s Parlour Bookstore

About the Author

Dr. Miller was indeed fortunate in many ways. His parents were what could be regarded as middle class and were brought up in poverty in the great depression. However, they both excelled scholastically. His father was a decorated soldier in World War II and was promoted to the rank of Major in the intelligence unit of the Australian army.

Dr. Miller won a scholarship paying fees to attend Prince Alfred College, and thanks to further scholarships throughout was able to complete private education at P.A.C. to Leaving Honours. At P.A.C. he represented the college in Intercollegiate tennis and Australian Rules football. On leaving he won the prize for best all round student. A vocational guidance test indicated that he was suited to medicine which delighted him. University education was provided thanks to a bursary. During University he played professional A.F.L football until injured!

Whilst in residence at the obstetric hospital he discovered a passion for the specialty. He went on to gain the necessary qualifications, –Fellowship of the Royal College of Obstetricians an Gynaecologists, Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of O.& G. and Fellowship of the Edinburgh Royal College of Surgeons.

His wife was a Ballerina and for many years has had a large ballet school. He has three children and two step daughters, one of whom was a ballerina who danced internationally. His two sons are both doctors, one is a gynaecological cancer surgeon specialist, the other has more I.T. degrees than a thermometer and has his own melanoma clinic. A granddaughter is also continuing the medical tradition.