b.24 November 1862 d.13 July 1951
BA Cantab(1884) MA MD MRCS FRCP(1901)
John Drysdale was born in Buenos Aires, the son of John Drysdale, a Scottish emigrant, and his wife Hannah Dunn of Buenos Aires. He receive his education in England, at University College School and St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he graduated in arts in 1884. He qualified from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital five years later, and also studied at Vienna and Berlin. After holding resident posts at St. Bartholomew’s and the Hospital for Sick Children, he went out to the Argentine and qualified there. However, he soon returned to an appointment as demonstrator of bacteriology at University College, Liverpool, and thence to the pathological department at St. Bartholomew’s, where, after filling a number of junior appointments, he was made assistant physician in 1904. He became full physician in 1919, lectured jointly on medicine and was made consulting physician when he retired in 1924. Drysdale also served for many years on the honorary staff of the Royal Hospital for Diseases of the Chest, and during the War of 1914-1918 in the 1st London General Hospital as a lieutenant-colonel. After retiring, he divided his time between London, Buenos Aires and Monte Carlo, his last visit to England being in 1939. Financial independence enabled Drysdale to devote his energies to clinical teaching, at which he excelled, and to the wellbeing of St. Bartholomew’s as a whole, to the exclusion of private practice. It enabled him, too, to form an independence of viewpoint and a directness of speech, enhanced by his strength of character, that brought him an enduring reputation for integrity, if also, at times, unpopularity with colleagues and superiors. He died at Buenos Aires, a bachelor.
G H Brown
[Lancet, 1951; B.M.J., 1951; Al.Cantab., ii, 344]
(Volume IV, page 429)
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