Lives of the fellows

Roderick Kenneth MacCuish

b.20 June 1919 d.9 January 1991
MB ChB Aberd(1942) MRCP(1948) FRCP(1974)

‘Roy' MacCuish was a true Scot, born of Scottish parents in Sheildaig, Applecross, Ross-shire, where his father John MacCuish was a teacher. His mother was Ann MacRae, daughter of a postmaster. He was educated at Dingwall Academy, Ross-shire, and then entered Aberdeen University to study medicine, his clinical training being undertaken at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. After graduation he worked as a house physician at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, and joined the RAMC in 1943. As RMO m the Royal Tank Regiment he crossed Europe and his unit was one of the first into Berlin at the end of the war. On demobilization, he did further house jobs at Bolton, Lancashire, where he met a young radiographer, Edna Leather, whom he married in 1949. They had three children, a son and two daughters.

From 1949-51 he was registrar to John Rennie at Bradford Royal Infirmary and then moved to Newcastle General Hospital where he developed an increasing interest in cardiology, moving on once again to the cardiological centre at Shotley Bridge under Fred Jackson. Subsequently he spent two years as senior registrar in cardiology at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle. At that time, consultant posts in cardiology were few and far between so that when the post of consultant geriatrician at St Luke’s Hospital became available at Bradford, a centre which he knew and where he was known, he applied for it and was appointed. The abandonment of cardiology was at first a bitter blow, but coping single-handed with the increasing geriatric load in Bradford left little time for regrets. The workload was huge and it was not until five years before he retired that a second geriatrician was appointed; within another five years the work was shared by five geriatricians. While working single-handed Roy sometimes felt isolated from his colleagues and undervalued, but his achievement was considerable. Perhaps his proudest moment was when the Minister of Health opened the new geriatric hospital at Bierley Hall, a project he had done so much to bring to fruition.

Roy MacCuish was a member of the Free Presbyterian Church and his religion was at the centre of his life. He was the prime mover in founding a congregation at Barnoldswick, where he became an elder of the church. On retirement he moved to Ilkley where he was able to enjoy fishing and walking in the Dales until cancer laid its hand upon him.

P C Reynell

(Volume IX, page 332)

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