Lives of the fellows

Alastair Duncan McInnes

b.1 September 1924 d.29 January 1995
MB ChB St And( 1949) MRCP Edin(1952) MRCP(1963) FRCP Edin(1971) FRCP( 1980)

Alastair Duncan McInnes was consultant general physician to the General Hospital in Jersey, Channel Islands. He was born in the parish of Riccarton, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, and educated at Kilmarnock Academy and Marr College, Troon, where he was head prefect, captain of the 1st XI cricket team, a member of the 1st XV rugby team and also a keen golfer. A severe fracture of the right leg when playing in a game for Marr College former pupils in September 1942 prevented him from starting a degree at Glasgow University. After the fracture he was in hospital for six months, at Kilmarnock Infirmary, and it was there that he first developed his ambition to become a doctor.

He was later accepted by the medical schools of both Glasgow University and St Andrews. He chose St Andrews and began university in 1944, graduating with commendation and winning medals for zoology, bacteriology, ophthalmology and medicine. He first became house physician to the professor of medicine at Dundee Royal Infirmary (1949 to 1950), followed by a period as house surgeon to the professor of surgery at the same hospital. In late 1950 he held the post of junior registrar at the Northern General Hospital, Edinburgh, where his wards included the rheumatic diseases research unit where trials were commencing with the newly discovered cortisone. He also worked on the neurological and general medical unit where his work with Ernest Living -the consultant neurologist - awakened his interest in neurology. Mclnnes took a three month course in neurology at the National Hospital, Queen Square, and followed it up with a three month clinical clerkship to McDonald Critchley [q.v.], who was then senior neurologist at the National Hospital.

After obtaining his membership of the Edinburgh College in 1952, he became senior house physician to Cuthbert Cope [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VI, p.118] at the Hammersmith Hospital. The following year he was appointed registrar in medicine and neurology at the Western Infirmary, Glasgow, and the West of Scotland neurological centre at the Killearn Hospital. He then moved to Bristol in the summer of 1955 when he was appointed senior medical registrar and clinical tutor at Bristol University, working at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and later rotated to Plymouth hospitals. In June 1959 he was awarded a Fulbright travelling scholarship to New York and spent a year as research fellow in chest diseases at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the Bronx Municipal Hospital Center, New York. He returned to Plymouth as senior medical registrar in 1960 and two years later was rotated back to Bristol Royal Infirmary. After obtaining his membership of the College in 1963 he was appointed a year later as consultant physician to the General Hospital in Jersey, Channel Islands, where he started the diabetic clinic, initiated the coronary care unit and maintained a very busy practice in general medicine. He was the inaugural president of the Jersey branch of the British Heart Foundation and served as its president from 1971 to 1985. He was also a member of the Wessex Physicians Club and of the British Cardiac Society, and later elected a Fellow of both the Edinburgh and London Royal Colleges.

Mclnnes had four children with his first wife, Margaret - Fiona, Andrew, Ian and Alison - and subsequently married Iris. As an active member of the Royal Jersey Golf Club he maintained a fine standard of golf until ill health prevented him playing in later years. He died after a long illness due to carcinoma of the lower oesophagus.

M H Gleeson

[Brit.med.J., 1995,311,120]

(Volume X, page 319)

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