Lives of the fellows

John Martin Beare

b.13 January 1920 d.? June 1998
MB BCh BAO Belf(1942) MD(1946) MRCP(1948) FRCP(1966) MRCPI(1976) FRCPI(1978)

Martin Beare was a consultant dermatologist in Belfast. He had a distinguished undergraduate career, finishing first in his final medical year. He volunteered for the Royal Navy and served as a surgeon lieutenant on active service from 1943 to 1946.

When he returned to Belfast he decided to make dermatology his career and started training with Ivan M’Caw and Reginald Hall, the only two dermatologists in Northern Ireland at the time. He went on to St Thomas’s and was one of that very distinguished band who trained with Geoffrey Dowling [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VII, p.163], a group which went on to have an enormous influence on British dermatology as a whole.

In 1949 he was appointed consultant dermatologist at the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast and the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, and remained there until his retirement.

His main interest was always in clinical medicine and in particular paediatric dermatology, with a special interest in mycology, urticaria pigmentosa and toxic epidermal necrolysis. His papers on molloscum sebaceum and urticaria pigmentosa were the standard reference for many years. He was a major contributor to the original ‘Rook textbook’ and wrote for many subsequent editions. Indeed one of his last books, Practical management of the dermatological patient (Philadelphia, Lippincott, 1986), was edited with Arthur Rook [Munk’s Roll, Vol.IX, p.450].

He played a full part in the leadership of his profession; he was chairman of his medical staff and of the dermatological committee of the BMA. During his presidency of the British Association of Dermatologists the annual meeting was held in Belfast and it was a tribute to his organizing skills and reputation that such a successful meeting was held under difficult circumstances. He was involved in the foundation of the Irish Association of Dermatologists.

He had many interests outside dermatology. He was a keen sportsman; he swam and played water polo as a student, and was later a keen skier, gardener and huntsman. He was a founder member of the Riding for the Disabled Association in Northern Ireland.

In 1943 he married Patricia and they had two daughters. After Pat’s death he married his second wife, Rosemary.

Desmond Burrows

(Volume XI, page 46)

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