Lives of the fellows

Archibald John McCall

b.13 March 1911 d.21 February 1995
MB ChB Liverp(1934) MRCS LRCP(1934) MD(1937) MRCP(1937) FRCP(1961) FRCPath(1964)

Blessed with excellent thought processes and clear kindly diction, inherited in part from his accountant father, Archie McCall was a much respected teacher of medical undergraduates and graduates, of nurses and technical and scientific staff. His courteous and helpful personality made him universally popular both as a lecturer and as a tutor.

He was born in Liverpool and always known as Archie’ to friends and colleagues. After happy and successful periods of schooling at Woodfield Preparatory School and Wigan Grammar School, he had a brilliant undergraduate career at the University of Liverpool and the Liverpool teaching hospitals. He graduated with first class honours, winning the gold medal in surgery, midwifery and gynaecology and the silver medal in forensic medicine and therapeutics. He was also an exhibitioner in clinical medicine and was delighted to be Adami prizeman in pathology.

As was fully expected and well deserved, he became house surgeon to R Kelly and house physician to H Cohen, later Lord Cohen [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VII, p. 106], at Liverpool Royal Infirmary. Reflecting on Sir William Osler’s [Munk’s Roll, Vol.IV, p.295] aphorism 'As is your pathology, so is your medicine’ he decided to pursue experience in pathology as the basis of medicine and spent a year as Holt fellow of pathology and two years as junior lecturer in pathology, from 1937 to 1939, at the University of Liverpool. From 1939 to 1941 he was assistant pathologist to Staffordshire County Council and subsequently consultant pathologist at North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary, Stoke-on-Trent. Many thought he would be an ideal dean when a medical school was established locally. His wide research interests and publications were geared particularly towards cerebrovascular disease and haematological disorders. Throughout his career his perfect collaboration with colleagues was greatly appreciated.

Archie was keenly sought after as a member or chairman of local and regional board committees. He was an enthusiastic member of the Association of Clinical Pathologists, being a member of council from 1947 to 1950. Other senior commitments in the Association culminated in his presidency from 1967 to 1968. In 1964 he was a founder fellow of the College of Pathologists, which gave him much pleasure. He served on the council of the College for two periods, from 1964 to 1967 and from 1968 to 1971, after which he was elected a vice-president, in which office he served from 1971 to 1974. While he was vice-president he was chairman of the credentials committee.

He married Anne Elizabeth Gee in 1939 and they had three daughters, one of whom predeceased him. It was a happy family and they were delightful hosts. His enthusiasm for a wide range of music was evidenced in his life and he was a competent amateur golfer who played the game to enjoy it.

E K Blackburn

[Brit.med.J., 1995,311,385]

(Volume X, page 309)

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