b.10 July 1889 d.11 May 1961
MD West Ont(1911) Hon DSc West Ont(1948) MRCP(1924) FRCP(1932)
Imrie was the first graduate of the University of Western Ontario to be elected to the Fellowship of the College. He was of Scottish extraction; both his father, the Rev. Andrew B. Imrie, and James Gray, the father of his mother, Elizabeth, had emigrated to London, Ontario. The strict traditions of the Scottish manse were shown in his strong sense of duty, justice and integrity. After graduation as gold medallist and an internship at the local Victoria Hospital he was awarded a research scholarship and appointed demonstrator in pathological chemistry in the University of Toronto under Professor J. B. Leathes, F.R.S., and had just been promoted lecturer when the outbreak of war in 1914 made him volunteer for combatant service, but he was transferred to the R.C.A.M.C., reaching the rank of major.
His former chief, Leathes, who had moved to Sheffield as professor of pathology, then persuaded Imrie to join him as his lecturer, a post which he held full and then part-time until 1945. In 1928 he was appointed lecturer in medicine and assistant physician to the Royal Hospital, to which he was senior physician from 1945 to 1954. He was also physician to the Jessop Hospital for Women and to the Rampton State Institution.
Imrie was essentially a general physician with a special interest in metabolic and endocrine disorders, in particular diabetes. He was, therefore, well equipped for the outstanding work he did in the direction of the physiological and biochemical laboratories, set up in the Sheffield teaching hospitals after the revision of the medical curriculum in 1922.
With his ready wit, his fund of humour, and his gift of lucid exposition he was a popular teacher on the then renewed theory of the seventeenth century physicians that disease is a disorder of normal function. Unfortunately he was dogged in his later years with severe rheumatoid arthritis; he had to curtail his hobbies of golf and tennis, but with great courage and cheerfulness he carried out his duties to within seven years of his death in 1961.
In 1925 he married Margaret, daughter of George Wilkinson, F.R.C.S. They had one son, who went to Canada after qualifying in medicine, and one daughter.
Richard R Trail
[Brit.med.J., 1961, 1, 1613-14 (p); Lancet, 1961, 1, 1120.]
(Volume V, page 210)
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