On This Day … 12 January

People (Births)

  • 1896 – David Wechsler, Romanian-American psychologist and author (d. 1981).
  • 1914 – Mieko Kamiya, Japanese psychiatrist and psychologist (d. 1979).
  • 1941 – Fiona Caldicott, English psychiatrist and psychotherapist.

David Wechsler

David Wechsler (12 January 1896 to 02 May 1981) was a Romanian-American psychologist. He developed well-known intelligence scales, such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC). A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Wechsler as the 51st most cited psychologist of the 20th century.

Biography

Wechsler was born in a Jewish family in Lespezi, Romania, and emigrated with his parents to the United States as a child. He studied at the City College of New York and Columbia University, where he earned his master’s degree in 1917 and his Ph.D. in 1925 under the direction of Robert S. Woodworth. During World War I, he worked with the United States Army to develop psychological tests to screen new draftees while studying under Charles Spearman and Karl Pearson.

After short stints at various locations (including five years in private practice), Wechsler became chief psychologist at Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital in 1932, where he stayed until 1967. He died on 02 May 1981.

Intelligence Scales

Wechsler is best known for his intelligence tests. He was one of the most influential advocates of the role of non-intellective factors in testing. He emphasized that factors other than intellectual ability are involved in intelligent behaviour. Wechsler objected to the single score offered by the 1937 Binet scale. Although his test did not directly measure non-intellective factors, it took these factors into careful account in its underlying theory. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) was developed first in 1939 and then called the Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Test. From these he derived the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) in 1949 and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) in 1967. Wechsler originally created these tests to find out more about his patients at the Bellevue clinic and he found the then-current Binet IQ test unsatisfactory. The tests are still based on his philosophy that intelligence is “the global capacity to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with [one’s] environment” (cited in Kaplan & Saccuzzo, p. 256).

The Wechsler scales introduced many novel concepts and breakthroughs to the intelligence testing movement. First, he did away with the quotient scores of older intelligence tests (the Q in “I.Q.”). Instead, he assigned an arbitrary value of 100 to the mean intelligence and added or subtracted another 15 points for each standard deviation above or below the mean the subject was. While not rejecting the concept of general intelligence (as conceptualised by his teacher Charles Spearman), he divided the concept of intelligence into two main areas: verbal and performance (non-verbal) scales, each evaluated with different subtests.

Mieko Kamiya

Mieko Kamiya (神谷 美恵子, Kamiya Mieko, 12 January 1914 to 22 October 1979) was a Japanese psychiatrist who treated leprosy patients at Nagashima Aiseien Sanatorium. She was known for translating books on philosophy. She worked as a medical doctor in the Department of Psychiatry at Tokyo University following World War II. She was said to have greatly helped the Ministry of Education and the General Headquarters, where the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers stayed, in her role as an English-speaking secretary, and served as an adviser to Empress Michiko. She wrote many books as a highly educated, multi-lingual person; one of her books, titled On the Meaning of Life (Ikigai Ni Tsuite in Japanese), based on her experiences with leprosy patients, attracted many readers.

Fiona Caldicott

Dame Fiona Caldicott, DBE, FMedSci (12 January 1941 to Present) is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist and, previously, Principal of Somerville College, Oxford. She is the present National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care in England.

Caldicott was born on 12 January 1941 in Troon, daughter of barrister Joseph Maurice Soesan and civil servant Elizabeth Jane (née Ransley). Her paternal grandparents were greengrocers who were unenthusiastic about education; her father left school in his mid-teens, but subsequently completed a chemistry degree at night school and a law degree by correspondence. Caldicott was educated at City of London School for Girls, then studied medicine at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, qualifying BM BCh in 1966.

Career

She was a Pro Vice-Chancellor, Personnel and Equal Opportunities, of the University of Oxford and chaired its Personnel Committee. She retired from her 10-year term as Chair at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust in March 2019, and was a past President of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. She was the first woman to be President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (1993–96) and its first woman Dean (1990-1993). From 2011 to 2013 she was Chair of the National Information Governance Board for Health and Social Care.

Caldicott Committee

A review was commissioned by the Chief Medical Officer of England and Wales owing to increasing concern about the ways in which patient information is used in the NHS of England and Wales and the need to ensure that confidentiality is not undermined. Such concern was largely due to the development of information technology in the service, and its capacity to disseminate information about patients rapidly and extensively. In 1996, guidance on “the protection and use of patient information” was promulgated and there was a need to promote awareness of it at all levels in the NHS. It did not affect Scotland originally but they have recently adopted it. A main committee was set up under Caldicott’s Chair and there were four separate working groups; the committee was known as the Caldicott Committee.

The Caldicott Committee … was [responsible] to review all patient-identifiable information, which passes from NHS organisations to other NHS or non-NHS bodies for purposes other than direct care, medical research, or where there is a statutory requirement for information. The committee was to consider each flow of patient-identifiable information and was to advise the NHS Executive whether patient identification was justified by the purpose and whether action to minimise risks of breach of confidentiality was desirable – for example, reduction, elimination, or separate storage of items of information.

The Caldicott Report was published in December 1997. Today, every NHS trust has a ‘Caldicott Guardian’, to make sure standards of patient confidentiality and the Caldicott principles are upheld.

National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care

Caldicott became the UK’s first National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care in November 2014. In December 2018 the Health and Social Care (National Data Guardian) Act 2018 passed into law, and in April 2019 she was appointed as the first statutory position holder by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Awards and Honours

  • Honorary fellow at Somerville College, Oxford.
  • Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, 15 June 1996..
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, November 2018.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.