McCredie, David Alexander AM

  • David McCredie

    Date and place of birth

    The 15th of June 1926, Carlton, Melbourne


    17th November 2020

    University attended

    The University of Melbourne

    Academic qualifications

    • MB, BS, BSc (1949)
    • MD (1959)
    • FRACP

    Positions held at The Royal Children's Hospital

    • 1951 - 1954 Resident Medical Officer and Registrar
    • 1957 - 1960 Chief Resident Medical Officer
    • 1960 - 1961 Research Fellow
    • 1963 – 1969 Second Assistant/  University Department of Paediatrics.
    • 1969 - 1991 First Assistant / Associate professor.
    •  1969 - 1979 Nephrologist and Head of Nephrology
    • 1979 - 1991 Physician Head of General Medical and Professorial Units
    • 1992-  Honorary Consultant Physician
    • 1979 – 2008 Physician to Nephrology Clinic

    Positions held outside the RCH

    • 1950 Resident Medical Officer Prince Henry Hospital, Melbourne
    • 1955 Resident Clinical Pathologist Sheffield Children's Hospital, Sheffield, United Kingdom
    • 1956 House Physician Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, United Kingdom
    • 1961 -1962 Research Fellow Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, USA
    • 1972 – 1973 and 1980  Research Fellow, Necker Enfants Malade, Paris, France
    • 1980 - 1981 Research Fellow Pathophysiologisches Institut, Bern, Switzerland
    • 1990 - 1998 Honorary Associate Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, NT
    • 1993 Locum Paediatric Nephrologist Birmingham Children's Hospital, Birmingham, United Kingdom
    • 1995 Locum Paediatric Nephrologist Cardiff General Hospital, Wales, United Kindgom
    • 1998 - 2007 Consultant Nephrologist Metabolic Bone Clinic Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne VIC
    • Honorary Paediatrician

    Clinical interests and research

    • Nephrology
    • Fluid and electrolytes
    • Calcium and phosphorus metabolism
    • Hypothermia
    • Indigenous health

    Career highlights and achievements

    David pioneered studies into the use of hypothermia in patient treatment. His work was published in 1962 in the Journal of Pediatrics. This same research was further acknowledged in a 2012 volume of the Journal of Pediatrics when it featured in a column titled 'Fifty Years Ago'.

    A career highlight for David was the classification of hypokalaemia in childhood with an emphasis on urinary calcium excretion.

    David, with his RCH colleagues, discovered that parathyroid hormone stimulates renin secretion in the kidney.

    Subsequently, when on sabbatical in Switzerland, David developed a simple test for calcium absorption using  47Ca.

    David established the first paediatric renal clinic in Australia. He was also involved in the establishment of the International Pediatric Nephrology Association (IPNA) for which he sat as Congress President between 2002 and 2004.

    In 1987 David received a letter from southern NSW, enclosing a photo of a handsome, well balanced young man on his 21st birthday, therein informing him that he had been captain of his school 2 years previously. This took David back to New Year’s day 1968 when a 20 month old boy arrived by ambulance in severe congestive cardiac failure and grossly oedematous from a subcutaneous drip. This had been inserted for dehydration from gastroenteritis. He was digitalised and given IV frusemide, but had cardiac arrest shortly afterwards. Following resuscitation he was maintained on life support at a temperature of 30-32C for 9 days when spontaneous respiration began. He was then slowly rewarmed and gradually regained consciousness. He was finally discharged after 8 weeks in hospital with an optimistic but guarded prognosis. This was that boy.

    Community interests

    David was the President of the VAYC between 1993 and 1994. He was the Vice President of the Victorian Division of the Australian Kidney Foundation, and between 2003 and 2006 was the Vice Chairman of the Graduate Union at the University of Melbourne. In the 1980s David was a council member of the Alliance Française.

    Honours and awards

    In June 2019 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (in the general division) in the Queens Birthday Honours (AM)

    President’s Medal, The Royal Children's Hospital

    Honorary life membership of VAYC, IPNA and The University of Melbourne Graduate Union

    Current activities

    David is the organiser of the biennial Florence May McCredie Lectureship which commenced in 1991 and which was named after his baby sister, who died of intussusception in the 1920s. There have been 11 prominent international  speakers to date who have contributed markedly to Nephrology and allied disciplines.