Lives of the fellows

John Milman Lipscomb

b.9 January 1914 d.21 August 1992
MRCS LRCP(1940) MA MB BChir Cantab(1941) MRCP(1944) MD(1949) FRCP(1962)

John Lipscomb came from a long line of medical practitioners and he could place a great-great-grandfather, Sir Francis Milman [Munk's Roll, Vol.II, p.316], as president of the College in 1811. John was educated at Marlborough, Cambridge and the London Hospital, qualifying during the second world war. He was house physician and medical registrar at the London Hospital before moving to the department of cardiology at St George’s Hospital in 1948. In 1951 he was appointed to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital as the second general physician. It was early days in the new National Health Service and major changes were occurring but John embraced them enthusiastically, recognizing the benefits to his patients.

Patients, to John, were people and long before the advent of holistic medicine he recognized the need to care for them in the context of their lives rather than as carriers of disease. He was a devoted doctor, available at all times for those who needed his service. In addition, he recognized the need in the newly developing NHS to educate and encourage his colleagues in the massive medical and technical advances then being made. To this end, he and a group of colleagues established the postgraduate centre and he became the first academic committee chairman. He established the GP training course at Canterbury, the second in the country. Unfortunately, progressive deafness forced him to retire early in 1974 but he maintained his interest in the hospital and spent long hours in the library tracing the history of the portraiture of William Harvey. He published a booklet on this for the 400th anniversary of the birth of William Harvey. Apart from his medical attributes and his forays into local medical history, he was a loyal friend and an admired counsellor. He had an active life in his village, Chilham, and is fondly remembered there for his participation in village life and his organizational ability. His hobbies were music and botany. His wife Margaret (Peg), née Raven, whom he married in 1938, was the daughter of a theologian. They had three daughters of whom he was exceptionally proud.

M Rake

(Volume IX, page 318)

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