Lives of the fellows

Iain Park McLean MacDougall

b.13 February 1918 d.6 September 1996
MB BS Lond(1941) MRCP(1947) MD(1948) FRCP(1970)

Iain MacDougall was a consultant physician in East Hertfordshire for twenty seven years from 1956, ending his career with joint appointments at Hertford County Hospital and Herts and Essex General Hospital, Bishops Stortford. He was born at Rawalpindi, the son of a distinguished Indian civil servant, Sir Raibeart MacDougall, who became HM Councillor to the Governor of Burma. From Stonyhurst he went to St Bartholomew’s Hospital, qualifying in 1941. The next year he joined the Navy as surgeon lieutenant RNVR, serving for the next four years in aircraft carriers in the Atlantic and on Russian convoys. Not content with his primary role at this time he trained as a Navy pilot and graduated to deck landings.

His first two appointments on return to civilian life were as house physician, first at Royal Sussex County Hospital and then at the City General Hospital, Leicester. In the next two years he passed his membership of the College and gained his MD degree while serving as a chief assistant at St Bartholomew’s. From 1950 to 1952 he was a senior registrar in pathology and the following year cancer registrar at the same hospital. Three years experience as a casualty house physician completed his preparation for consultant status. During the last two of these years he was also a research assistant at the Gordon Hospital, a post he combined with his clinical duties until 1968. It was during this period that Iain’s work on ulcerative colitis resulted in the publication of several papers and an invited chapter, devoted chiefly to the now well-recognized predisposition to cancer which until then had received little attention.

He remained the sole medical gastroenterologist in East Herts until his retirement in 1983, and his service in this role was extended by several years of busy locum appointments.

His outside interests included rugby football, dinghy sailing and skiing, with a variety of hobbies to occupy him when the onset of severe arterial disease of the lower limbs increasingly limited his mobility. His knowledge of antique glass included a thorough understanding of the physics and chemistry of glass. A similar scientific bent prompted Iain to study recording techniques as an aid to his enjoyment of classical music, while he was able he kept up a long-standing love affair with sports cars.

With the lively mind that such a range of interests implies and his small spare frame, Iain always seemed to have a surplus of energy which he put to work in the care of patients and the teaching of junior staff.

J M T Willoughby

(Volume X, page 315)

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