Lives of the fellows

Arthur Douglas Heath

b.1 October 1870 d.8 May 1937
MB BS Lond(1892) MD Lond(1893) MRCS LRCP(1892) MRCP(1901) FRCP(1933)

Arthur Heath was the son of James Pulling Heath, and his wife, Alice Martin, née May.

He was born in Exeter and went from its Grammar School to University College, and thence to University College Hospital. There, after a full series of house posts, a clinical assistantship with Radcliffe-Crocker laid the foundation of his later interest in dermatology. When he was appointed surgical officer to the Birmingham General Hospital he gave up general practice in Edgbaston. In 1901 he was elected casualty physician and in 1906 the physician-in-charge of its new department of dermatology.

During the First World War he was able to develop his bent for general medicine as visiting physician to the 1st and 2nd Birmingham War Hospitals. Essentially a clinician and an expert diagnostician, he soon became the leading dermatologist in the Midlands. With an encyclopaedic knowledge of his subject, his didactic manner of bringing out salient points on his hospital rounds and in his University lectures made him a popular teacher for over twenty years.

He was a regular attender at the meetings of the dermatology section of the Royal Society of Medicine, and honorary secretary and later vice-president at several of the British Medical Association’s annual meetings, president of the British Association of Dermatology and Syphilis in 1926, and president of the Midland Medical Society in 1931.

A modest and retiring man, he could nevertheless be outspoken at committees because of his strong sense of honesty and duty. His interests were wide: fishing, bridge, and the collection of antique furniture, coins, clocks and stamps.

He married Annie, daughter of the Rev. Henry Taylor, of Wells, Somerset, and had one son and one daughter.

Richard R Trail

[Brit.J.Derm., 1937, 49, 338-9; Brit.med.J., 1937, 1, 1286; Lancet, 1937, 1, 1374.]

(Volume V, page 181)

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