Lives of the fellows

John Napier Mickerson

b.15 February 1924 d.3 September 1990
MB BS Lond(1946) MD(1951) MRCP(1954) FRCP(1970)

John Mickerson, always known as Jack, was born in east London. He was educated at King Edward VI School, Southampton, and subsequently obtained an entrance scholarship to St Mary’s Hospital, University of London, to study medicine. He became a Kitchener Scholar in 1943 and after qualification held a junior post as house physician at St Mary’s. This was followed by a year spent in Stockholm, as Swedish Institute scholar in 1948, which stimulated his interest in cardiology; he later wrote papers on hypertension and cardiac failure. On his return to England he undertook his national service in the RAMC with the rank of major, serving until 1950 when he was discharged.

From 1955-60 he was senior registrar at Charing Cross Hospital. He may have owed his appointment as consultant physician in Chichester partly to a display of personal initiative: faced with interviews in Cambridge and Chichester on the same day he solved the problem by hiring an aircraft. In Chichester he worked as consultant physician and cardiologist to the Royal West Sussex Hospital and St Richard’s Hospital, and also as consulting physician to King Edward VII Hospital, Midhurst, where he was influential in the process of changing the hospital from that of a sanatorium to the fully equipped short stay hospital of today. He took pride in being a general physician, his energy and enthusiasm were infectious and in later years his opinion was sought by general practitioners throughout Sussex.

He had a strong interest in medical education and in 1963 he was appointed one of the first clinical tutors in the region. With the support of colleagues and patients, together with local industry, he was involved in the establishment of the Chichester Postgraduate Medical Centre, free from the constraints of the NHS. He was chairman of the trustees for 25 years, with an ambition to make the centre the finest in the south, and he was instrumental in the introduction of rotational registrar posts between teaching hospitals and Chichester. The most recent of the phased developments at the Centre was already in hand at the time of his death. He was also regional adviser in medicine for the College. In 1980 his contribution to medical care in the area was recognized by appointment as honorary physician to the mayor of Chichester and later, in 1986, as a deputy lieutenant of the county of West Sussex.

Jack Mickerson had many interests outside medicine, including sailing, gardening, painting and photography. He had a fund of good stories and a deep sense of history; in retirement he was writing a history of the Royal West Sussex Hospital and preparing a study of Sir John Forbes, a physician and one of the founders of the hospital in 1826. In 1949 he had married Renée Forster, daughter of a brewing director. They had two children, Sarah and John. He and his wife entertained generously, they had a wide circle of friends and gave their support to many local activities.

V C Luniewska

[Brit.med.J., 1991,302,233]

(Volume IX, page 361)

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