Lives of the fellows

Peter Hewlett Kidner

b.2 April 1938 d.10 July 1989
MA BM BCh Oxon(1963) MRCP(1965) FRCP(1979)

Peter Kidner was born in Bristol, the son of Edward Hewlett Kidner, who was a pharmacist. Shortly afterwards the family moved to Newport, Gwent, where Peter attended the High School. He won a state scholarship to Pembroke, Oxford, where he commenced his preclinical education. He completed his clinical training at King’s College Hospital, London, in 1963, and became a house officer there. In 1965 he was appointed registrar at the London Chest Hospital, returning to King’s m 1968 as senior registrar.

After finishing his training in general medicine, he gained further experience in chest medicine and cardiology, and in 1972 was appointed to the consultant staff of St Mary’s Hospital. Peter worked as a general physician, with cardiology as his main interest. He obtained his membership of the College and was later elected a Fellow. During his early career he developed an interest in cardio-pulmonary physiology, and later concentrated on the early detection of coronary heart disease. He worked closely with his colleagues in general practice to assess the efficacy of surface ECG mapping for this purpose.

He was also interested in the application of laser technology to vascular disease, and enjoyed considerable skill in fund raising. He gave valuable support to his research staff by providing not only salaries but also accommodation in which they could work comfortably, and clinical services also benefited from this approach. He had an extensive clinical practice, both NHS and private. He was honorary cardiologist at St Luke’s Hospital for Anglican Clergy, and treated Roman Catholic priests at the Hospital of St John and Elizabeth in London.

He was a sensitive man and one who found the inevitable squabbles over hospital management more painful than most; although a regular attender at hospital committee meetings he did not seek election to more senior positions. He avoided confrontation, preferring to seek alternative and more diplomatic routes towards his goals.

Peter was seen by his colleagues as an impeccably dressed, quiet, reserved and self-contained man. His patients saw him as a man of warmth, understanding and patience. This close rapport he was able to establish with his patients was probably as important to him as it was to them. He enjoyed clinical medicine, and was greatly assisted in the organization of his practice by his wife Marie Teresa (Terry) Eaton. They married in 1963 and had four children, three sons and a daughter.

The family lived at Thorpe Waterville, Northamptonshire, where Peter took a delight in restoring their historical home and caring for a very large and beautiful garden in which he planted and nurtured many hundreds of trees. It was here that, with his family, he spent his happiest hours. He also took up archery as a hobby.

Characteristically, he bore his final illness privately with his family, but continued to show an interest in medicine and his colleagues until his last days.

D J Sheridan

[Brit.med.J., 1989,299,1213]

(Volume IX, page 294)

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