b.21 September 1875 d.11 January 1950
BSc Lond(1895) BA Oxon(1900) BM(1904) MA DM FRCP(1913)
Alexander Gibson was born at Hull, the son of William and Elizabeth Gibson, and educated at University College, Aberystwyth, taking the B.Sc. (Lond.) degree in 1895, and at Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated with first-class honours in natural science in 1900. He did his clinical training at St. Thomas’s Hospital and took his B.M. degree in 1904. He stayed at St. Thomas’s to fill a house appointment and then obtained one at the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford. It was in Oxford that he made his career, at first as a general practitioner and then as a consultant. He was made assistant pathologist at the Infirmary in 1911 and physician eight years later, having served as a major in the 3rd Southern General Hospital during the War. He also held a number of University appointments, as, successively, demonstrator of pathology, lecturer on morbid anatomy, and reader (latterly Nuffield reader) in morbid anatomy. He was Litchfield lecturer on medicine on more than one occasion. Gibson was a Censor at the Royal College of Physicians and gave the Bradshaw Lecture in 1928.
The dual nature of Gibson’s work enabled him to preserve a close link between clinical medicine and the laboratory. He was a sound, stimulating teacher, one who preserved discipline in spite of a quiet, shy manner. Gardening and natural life provided recreations for his leisure, and his understanding of the history of medicine was shown by his books, The Radcliffe Infirmary (1926) and The Physician's Art (1933), an elaboration of Locke’s De Arte Medica. He was an editor of the Quarterly Journal of Medicine and with W. T. Collier wrote Methods of Clinical Diagnosis (1927). Gibson married Constance Muriel, daughter of J. T. Jones, J.P, of Tenby, and left two sons and a daughter. He died at Oxford.
G H Brown
[Lancet, 1950. B.M.J., 1950]
(Volume IV, page 530)
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