Surgical Training and Career
He was a Commonwealth Scholarship holder throughout medical school and as an undergraduate was awarded the James McRae Yeates Prize for Clinical Surgery. He continued his surgical education in the teaching hospitals of the University of New South Wales, Australia between 1969 and 1972 when he left for a year of post-graduate education in the United Kingdom. This included five months at the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences of the Royal College of Surgeons in London. He returned to Australia in 1973 and completed his residency training in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery in Sydney at his previous teaching hospitals. During this period, Dr. Michael E. DeBakey was a visiting professor in Sydney and invited Dr. Lawrie to spend a year with him in Houston, Texas.
Between 1974 and 1975, Dr. Lawrie completed a Cardiovascular Fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine with Dr. DeBakey and was invited to join his personal staff as an associate surgeon as well as the Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. In this capacity, he worked with Dr. DeBakey on a daily basis for over 20 years and accumulated a very extensive experience in the surgical management of end-stage and complex cardiovascular disease. During this time he participated in the surgical care of many notable figures such as the Shah of Iran, the President of Turkey, the King of Belgium, and a number of other royal figures. He helped set up cardiovascular surgery programs in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. He was also actively involved in student and resident teaching and carried out extensive research in cardiovascular surgery.
In early 1994, he spent 3 months in Glasgow, Scotland, setting up a cardiac surgery program at a new 300 million dollar medical center for Health Care International. This entity was formed by Harvard Medical School-based physicians with major financial support from Harvard University. He then returned to Houston to continue his career at Baylor College of Medicine.
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