Peter Hurley (doctor)

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Peter John Hurley (6 January 1940 – 16 August 1983)[1] was a New Zealand doctor. He was the first full-time physician in nuclear medicine at Auckland Hospital, 1972 and he established the Department of Nuclear Medicine there 1971-1982.[2] He "was one of the most gifted young physicians of his generation."[3]

Early life[edit]

Hurley was born in Bathurst, New South Wales. His family moved to Auckland when he was four. He was educated at Good Shepherd School, Balmoral and then at St Peter's College[3] where he was Dux in 1956[2] and gained a Junior National University Scholarship. After his intermediate year at the University of Auckland he went to Dunedin and was enrolled at the Otago Medical School. He was president of Aquinas Hall of Residence and on graduation with distinction became a house surgeon and registrar at Auckland Hospital.[3]

Medical career[edit]

Hurley was first appointed as a medical registrar in the Department of Medicine at Auckland Hospital. In 1962 he became involved in lipoprotein work and this initiated his interest in radioisotopes.[4] In 1968 Hurley was a research fellow in the medical unit, Auckland Hospital and from 1969 for three years research assistant in nuclear medicine and fellow at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. He was a co author on some journal articles.[5] Nuclear medicine had developed in a piecemeal fashion in Auckland and it became necessary that the different independent units into a totally integrated electronics service with a Nuclear medicine Physician to guide it.[6] When he returned to Auckland in 1972,[7] Hurley was appointed as head of the department of Nuclear Medicine.[3] He was instrumental in its staffing and development and the advancement of its academic reputation.[3] In 1981 he was awarded the Johns Hopkins Nuclear Medicine Distinguished Alumnus award.[8]


Hurley was very interested in music and was a pianist. He was also a singer and was a member of the Dorian Singers in Auckland. He participated in two overseas tours with that group. When he was a student he acted in plays.[3] He died on 16 August 1983 in Auckland at the age of 43.[3][9]


  1. ^ "Hurley, Peter John". New Zealand Herald. Auckland. 18 August 1983. p. 20. 
  2. ^ a b St Peter's College Magazine 1960, p. 79; St Peter's College Magazine 1983, p. 7.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g GL Glasgow, "College Roll: Hurley, Peter John, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons", (Retrieved 14 December 2012)
  4. ^ Bruce White in The History of Nuclear Medicine in Auckland 1961-1986, a chapter in H D Jamieson (ed), The development of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering in New Zealand Hospitals 1945-1995, (2nd edition), Auckland DHB 1995, p. 71.
  5. ^ *Strauss, H. William, Barry L. Zaret, Peter J. Hurley, T. K. Natarajan, and Bertram Pitt. "A scintiphotographic method for measuring left ventricular ejection fraction in man without cardiac catheterization." The American journal of cardiology 28, no. 5 (1971): 575-580.
    • Zaret, Barry L., H. William Strauss, Peter J. Hurley, T. K. Natarajan, and Bertram Pitt. "A noninvasive scintiphotographic method for detecting regional ventricular dysfunction in man." New England Journal of Medicine 284, no. 21 (1971): 1165-1170.
    • Scott, P. J., and P. J. Hurley. "The distribution of radio-iodinated serum albumin and low-density lipoprotein in tissues and the arterial wall." Atherosclerosis 11, no. 1 (1970): 77-103.*Pritchard, David A., Bramah N. Singh, and Peter J. Hurley. "Effects of amiodarone on thyroid function in patients with ischaemic heart disease." British heart journal 37, no. 8 (1975): 856-860.
    • Hurley, Peter J. "Red cell and plasma volumes in normal adults." Journal of nuclear medicine: official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine 16, no. 1 (1975): 46-52.
    • Smith, H. J., B. N. Singh, R. M. Norris, M. B. John, and P. J. Hurley. "Changes in myocardial blood flow and ST segment elevation following coronary artery occlusion in dogs." Circulation research 36, no. 6 (1975): 697-705.
    • Scott, P. J., and P. J. Hurley. "Demonstration of individual variation in constancy of 24-hour urinary creatinine excretion." Clinica chimica acta 21, no. 3 (1968): 411-414.
  6. ^ Bruce White, p. 84.
  7. ^ Bruce White, p. p. 80
  8. ^ Wagner Jr, Harry J (2006). A Personal History of Nuclear Medicine. London: Springer-Verlag. p. 144. 
  9. ^ "Peter J Hurley". Auckland Star. 17 August 1983. pp. B. 18.