Obituary

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    Obituary

    JOHN PARKINSONKt., M.D. Lond., F.R.C.P.

    Sir John Parkinson, consulting physician to the car-diac department of the London Hospital and to the

    Walter Stoneman

    National Heart Hospital,died on June 5 at the age of91; he was one of the worldsleading authorities on heart-disease.

    He joined the London, whichhe regarded as his medicalhome, in 1903; there he was des-tined to succeed Sir JamesMackenzie as leader in the car-diac department. Through hiswork, teaching, and writings, hebecame as well known andrevered abroad as in thiscountry. He was president of theEuropean Society of Cardiology;honorary member of the Inter-national Congress of Cardio-logy, and of the French Society

    of Cardiology; and honorary fellow of the American College ofPhysicians. The International Heart Foundation awarded himtheir "Gold Stethoscope". The University of Glasgow and theNational University of Ireland conferred on him honorary doc-torate degrees. The Medical Society of London awarded himthe Fothergill gold medal. The Royal College of Physicianspresented him with the Moxon medal, and appointed him Har-veian orator.

    In his researches, John Parkinson contributed liberally tothe advancement of knowledge in many sectors of cardiology,never allowing his gaze to stray from his avowed object of im-proving the diagnosis of heart-disease in order to bring itwithin the compass of practical therapy. Such researches con-cerned cardiac dysrhythmia, rheumatic fever and heart-dis-ease, the heart in goitre, heart-failure, and especially coronary-artery disease. He described the help gained in diagnosisthrough the electrocardiogam, and especially from the radio-logical examination of the heart. He had grown impatient withthe traditional claim that percussion could determine the shapeand size of the heart. He called percussion a dying method,packed with fallacies and imperfections, with the token ofsterility upon it. He maintained that cardiology shouldadvance and develop beyond post-mortem findings which werestatic; through radiocardiology we could reach a more vitalanatomy and dynamic pathology of the living heart, perform-ing as it were a biopsy of the heart.

    In earlier days, he fought for recognition of cardiology asa specialty within medicine; that he acted wisely on this scorehas been amply justified, for it assured for this country a safeplace in the van of modern cardiology. His wise leadership inclinical cardiology will be remembered as long as hearts keepbeating, and an age ahead will rediscover the truths he taughtso convincingly at the bedside. He did not decry a searchinginvestigation of a patients illness, and electrocardiographyand radiology were never omitted in uncovering concealedheart-disease, or making its nature better understood, but hewarned sternly against unneeded investigations in a stingingepigram: "There is always a moment when curiosity is a sin."

    It is not only what John Parkinson did and said that has somaterially benefited our knowledge of the heart in health andin disease, but also the way he said it. His writings and lecturesabound with examples of those happy turns of phrase whichfell so naturally from his pen and so authoritatively from hislips. Parkinsons whole life was spent in search of perfection.

    This is emphasised by the purity of his prose, and the orderli-ness of his examination of, and his dealings with, patients.This was in line with his dictum that when dealing withhumanity you must needs be humane. He sought perfection,too, in the lay-out of his garden, and in the choice of furnitureand paintings in his home and consulting-rooms; he himselfwas no mean painter in water-colour, and he appreciated theausterity of Paul Nashs paintings. Similarly, he sought perfec-tion in his assistants, whom he invariably befriended andhelped; this standard they endeavoured to reach, for he hadcarved a pattern and example which they wished dearly toemulate, although failing to achieve it fully. As we honour thepassing of Sir John Parkinson, we pay our tribute to a greatphysician, scientist, and teacher, and to a true friend.

    W.E.

    GEOFFREY BARROW DOWLINGM.D. Lond., F.R.C.P., Hon. D.M. Utrecht, Hon. M.D. PretoriaDr G. B. Dowling, consulting physician to the skin

    department, St. Thomas Hospital, London, and for-merly director of the Institute of Dermatology, died onJune 1 at the age of 84; he was largely responsible forthe post-war expansion of dermatology in Britain.He was born in Cape Town and began his education in

    South Africa, continuing after the move to England at Dul-wich College and Guys Hospital, where he graduated M.B. in1920 and M.D. in 1921, having served as a cavalry trooper inthe 1914-18 war. Following hospital appointments in generalmedicine and pathology, he decided to specialise in dermato-logy, and worked in the skin departments at Guys and theWest London Hospitals before joining the consultant staffs atSt. Thomas Hospital and St. Johns Hospital for Diseases ofthe Skin. He was appointed director of the Institute of Derma-tology, University of London, in 1952. He served as consultantin dermatology to the R.A.F., and as president of the BritishAssociation of Dermatology and of the Dermatological Sectionof the Royal Society of Medicine.

    His wife died in 1965; he is survived by two sons and twodaughters.

    G. C. W. writes:"Dr Dowling was an outstanding clinician who had a pro-

    found influence on the development of dermatology over thepast thirty years. He was a great expert on cutaneous tubercu-losis and his discovery of high dose calciferol as the first effec-tive treatment of lupus vulgaris aroused world-wide interest.He made important contributions to our knowledge of sclero-derma and dermatomyositis, which were distilled into his Wat-son Smith lecture at the Royal College of Physicians in 1953.Above all, he got through to the next generation andencouraged clinical interest and investigation; many of todaysconsultants were trained by him and remain his devoted fol-lowers.

    "As the first director of studies at the Institute of Dermatol-ogy he suggested and encouraged investigative work in suchsubjects as contact sensitivity and photobiology, with far-reaching results. His early experience in pathology led him toencourage the study of the histopathology of the skin, whichensured its pre-eminence in this country. He had an extraordi-nary facility for grasping the essence of a problem and forrejecting the superfluous, and any sort of pretentiousness wasutterly repugnant to him. His unassuming charm and dry withad very wide appeal. His journals club evolved into thefamous Dowling Club, with its monthly meetings, its visits toregional centres of dermatology, its annual meeting abroad, itsDowling oration, and its Dowling travelling fellowship. Hisidea was to encourage friendship and the exchange of ideasamongst those in training."There was an 18th-century completeness about Dr Dowl-

    ing, with his intense intellectual ability and his wide knowl-edge of music and of painting. He was no mean rugby player

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    and a competent golfer, and on social occasions his staying-power was prodigious. His superb professional ability was anexample to all, and his influence on dermatology is immeasur-able."

    A. L. adds:"Dr Dowling was a paradoxical phenomenon: he had enor-

    mous influence on the development of his specialty, and yet hisdidactic gifts were apparently meagre. He is the reason whyhalf the present British dermatologists chose dermatology, andyet if you asked him why he had written lupus erythematosuson the case-sheet, all he would say was because it looks likeit. It was obvious to us that he knew what he was doing, andthere was a challenge in trying to analyse the hidden thoughtprocess that informed his pen. His relaxed attitude towardsyoung people, and his interest in them, together with his sin-gle-minded pursuit of dermatology, was the basis of the trustthat he inspired. Humble enough to admit when he didntknow something, there was nothing fumbling or soft about theway that he championed dermatology. While he sought no re-ward for himself, those he trained were disappointed that hisoutstanding contribution attracted no official honour, but theywill long remember his work and pass its influence to succeed-ing generations."

    GEORGE GORDON BRUCEM.B.Aberd., F.R.C.S., Hon. F.R.C.S.E.

    Mr. G. Gordon Bruce, consultant emeritus to theRoyal Infirmary, Aberdeen, died on June 6 at the age of84.He qualified with honours in 1915, and spent his war years

    in France and the Dardenelles, receiving a mention in dis-patches in 1918. Returning to Aberdeen, he became F.R.C.S. in1921 and was appointed consultant surgeon to the Royal Aber-deen Hospital for Sick Children in 1925 and to the Royal In-firmary in 1927. He was consultant surgeon to the RoyalFamily in Scotland from 1939 until his retirement in 1957.To send forth unqualified paeans of praise would be an insult

    to the memory of such a man as Gordon Bruce. He had his upsand downs and he had his critics, but no man worthy of hissalt can escape either. An exacting and efficient surgery was hisaim, and seeing his desired goal so clearly in view he marcheddirectly towards it when a slight deviation might have avoidedtreading upon sensitive toes. The name of Gordon Bruce willundoubtedly conjure up in future years a concept of surgerywhich was honest in its selection, searching in its planning,meticulous in its execution, and exacting in its postoperativecare. And though least spectacular of all, it may be for the lastthat he deserves greatest credit. Upon occasion he would sacri-fice everything for the welfare and survival of a single patient,and those of us who were his pupils have reason to be gratefulfor the example he set and for his teaching on this subject.Praise or thanks from him were unknown; efficient and effec-tive performances were the norm and did not call for comment.It is said that you cannot be a good performer, in surgery oranything else in this life, unless it hurts to do badly. This wasalways true of Brucie; no man suffered more in maintaininghis surgical ideals and no man was more conscious, to quotehim verbatim, that surgery was no bed of roses. It was perhapsbecause of this that unbridled criticism sometimes broke fromhim in the operating-theatre, but this criticism was consistentand always aimed at producing in his theatre staff the maxi-mum efficiency for his patients welfare.

    Surgery was not the only garment in the wardrobe of hislife. His expertise as a salmon fly fisherman was widely recog-nised, as also was his ability on the grouse moor and in lowground shooting. Here, too, he was prepared to teach theselected few, though woe betide the ineffective or indolent per-formance. His philosophy and the hallmarks of his teachingand performance were that what was in hand had to be doneproperly and that whatever was undertaken was carried out tothe utmost capability. He has left his mark, both in his hospi-

    tal and medical school, and in the wider environment of hisnative north-east of Scotland.

    W. M.

    LESLIE H. TRUELOVEB.M. Oxon., M.R.C.P., D.Phys.Med.

    Dr Leslie Truelove, associate director of the depart-ment of physical medicine at Vancouver General Hospi-tal, British Columbia, died on May 29 at the age of 53.He was born in England and educated at King Edward VII

    School, Sheffield, and Magdalen College, Oxford, graduatingB.M. in 1946. He held a house-appointment at the HamersmithHospital, London, and was registrar to the United Oxford Hos-pitals, before taking up a research fellowship in the rheuma-tism unit at the Northern General Hospital, Edinburgh. Heemigrated to Canada in 1960, to become chief of medical ser-vices at the Manitoba Rehabilitation Hospital and director ofthe School of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy at theUniversity of Manitoba. Moving to Vancouver in 1971, he wasapointed a clinical assistant professor in the department ofmedicine at the University of British Columbia, and worked asa member of the active medical staff of the G. F. Strong Re-habilitation Centre of Vancouver General Hospital.Dr Truelove served as chairman of the physical and rehabili-

    tation section of the British Columbia Medical Associationand as first president of the Interprofessional Association ofRehabilitation Medicine of British Columbia; since 1968 hehad been associate medical director of the Canadian Arthritisand Rheumatism Society. He was a keen runner, runningbetween 5 and 8 miles a day, and taking part in numerous26-mile marathons.He is survived by his wife, Rosamund, and their four sons.

    Sir GEORGE McRoBERT, consulting physician to the Hospi-tal for Tropical Diseases, London, has died at the age of 81;he served for many years in the Indian Medical Service, andwas medical adviser to the Secretary of State for Common-wealth Relations.

    Appointments

    North West Thames Regional Health Authority:BARAITSER, MICHAEL, M.B., B.scStellenbosch, M.R.C.P.: consultant clinical

    geneticist, Kennedy Galton Centre and Clinical Research Centre.CRAWFURD, M. dA., M.B.Lond., M.R.C.PATH., DIP.PATH.: consultant clinical

    geneticist, Clinical Research Centre and Kennedy Galton Centre.GOOLAMALI, S. K., M.D.Lond., M.R.C.P.: consultant dermatologist, Central

    Middlesex Hospital, Northwick Park Hospital, and Wembley Hospital.GORDON, HARRY, M.B.Lond., F.R.C.S.E., F.R.C.O.G.: consultant obstetrician and

    gynaecologist, Northwick Park Hospital.HULANDS, G. H., M.B.Bust., F.F.A. R.C.S.: consultant anxsthetist, Northwick

    Park Hospital.JEFFERYS, P. M., M.B.Cantab., M.R.C.P., M.R.C.PSYCH.: consultant psychiatrist,

    Northwick Park Hospital.MARJOT, D. H., M.B.Lond., M.R.C.PSYCH., D.P.M.. consultant psychiatrist, Eal-

    ing, Hammersmith, and Hounslow A.H.A. (teaching).MILLINGTON, MALCOLM, M.B.Lond., M.R.C.PSYCH., D.P.M. : consultant child

    psychiatrist, child guidance clinics, London Borough of Hlllmgdon,Middlesex Lodge Observation and Assessment Centre, and Mount Ver-non Hospital.

    NELSTROP, G. A., M.B.Manc., M.R.C.P.: consultant general physician, SouthWest district of Hertfordshire, mainly at Watford General Hospital.

    RENTON, PETER, M.B.Lond., F.R.C.R., D.M.R.D.. consultant radiologist, North-wick Park Hospital.

    RIORDAN, J. F., M.B. N.u.l., M.R.C.P.: consultant physician (with special train-ing and experience in respiratory medicine), Brent health district,mainly at Central Middlesex Hospital.

    SANDERSON, P. J., M.B., B.SC., PH.D.Lond., M.R.C.PATH., DIP.BACT. : consultantmicrobiologist, Northwick Park Hospital.

    SMITH, G. N., M.B., B.sc., PH.D.Lond., M.R.C.PATH. : consultant haematologist,Northwich Park Hospital and M.R.C. Clinical Research Centre.

    THOMPSON, D. S., M.B., B.sc.Lond., M.R.C.PATH. : consultant hxmatologist,South Bedfordshire health district, mainly at Luton and DunstableHospital.