Professor P J Holloway

When Phil Holloway arrived in Manchester in 1963, he already had an impressive international reputation. He had qualified in Guy’s in 1949 and completed his National Service in the RAF after which he held teaching posts in The London Hospital. His subsequent prestigious postgraduate research career included an appointment with the MRC, study leave in Scandinavia and a year at Harvard as a Rockefeller research fellow. During these early years Phil acquired a passionate belief in the Scientific Method, the tenets and techniques of which guided him for the whole of his life.

There followed four years as Senior Lecturer at The London where he co-authored, with Swallow and Slack, the first edition of “Child Dental Health”, a textbook well-known to many Manchester alumni. His interest in the field of Community Dentistry also blossomed at this time.

He came to Manchester in 1963 where he remained until his retirement in 1992, holding initially the post of Reader and then in 1978, the Professor of Child Dental Health. He also served as Senior Tutor in the Sixties and Dean in the Eighties, so he was well known to all alumni from this period.

Phil’s international standing in the fields of community and preventive dentistry was second-to-none and even an abbreviated list of his many achievements would easily fill many pages. In this short appreciation it is perhaps most appropriate to illustrate his enormous contribution to Manchester Dental School by mentioning only a few of the many innovations which he introduced.

He was a pioneer in the field of Preventative Dentistry, especially in the care of children and sugar control, fluoride and oral hygiene, which became the essential basis of all the clinical teaching programmes that he developed.

With like-minded colleagues he introduced the then new topic of Community Dentistry to the curriculum and later established the ground-breaking, and now widely copied, outreach schemes in which undergraduates are taught clinical dentistry by specially trained staff in Community Clinics.

In 1967 the Dental Health Unit was established as a joint venture between the University and Colgate Palmolive, again totally innovative for the time. Since then the Unit’s contribution to research and postgraduate teaching has been enormous.

Phil Holloway was totally committed to his work and the many benefits which he brought to Manchester Dental School over nearly 30 years are gratefully acknowledged.

Fred Hill

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