Lives of the fellows

James Robertson Ross MacFarlane

b.27 January 1926 d.10 August 1983
MB ChB Glasg(1948) MRCP(1952) FRCP(1982) FRCPG(1983)

James MacFarlane, consultant physician in geriatric medicine at the Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow, was born in that city and served it all his life. His father was a head teacher, John Campbell MacFarlane, and James was educated at Glasgow High School and the University of Glasgow, where he graduated in medicine. After house appointments in medicine and surgery at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, he entered the RAMC in 1949 on National Service, returning to the Infirmary in 1951 to complete his training as a physician. He continued his association with the Infirmary, as senior house officer and medical registrar, until 1958 when he was appointed senior registrar to Hairmyres Hospital, Lanarkshire. He remained on the staff, as assistant physician, until 1969, and then became consultant physician to the geriatric unit at the Victoria Infirmary.

MacFarlane was honorary clinical lecturer in geriatric medicine and wrote and gave many papers on the subject, being especially interested in the use and effect of diuretics and potassium sparing agents in elderly patients. This interest in the use of diuretics in the management of hypertension led to participation in the European Working Party on Hypertension in the Elderly. He organized the 14th workshop of the group in May 1982, which was notable for its quality and excellence. His clinical skills and genuine interest in his patients were greatly appreciated both by staff and students at the Infirmary.

MacFarlane was a member of his local Rotary Club, a trustee of the Scottish Trust for the Physically Disabled, an elder and former session clerk in his church, and chairman, secretary or committee member of many charitable groups - including the Pearce Institute in Govan and the Margaret Blackwood Housing Foundation for the Disabled.

He married Grace, daughter of Archibald Gibson, a master builder, in 1960, and they had a son John, and a daughter Mhairi. In his own family there was a long history of coronary disease and it caught up with him in 1974, but he refused to allow this to affect his work in the community or the hospital. He was a naturally courteous man, very hospitable, and travelled widely. His wife and children survived him.

Sir Gordon Wolstenholme
Valérie Luniewska

[Brit.med.J., 1983, 287, 1313]

(Volume VII, page 357)

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