b.16 July 1916 d.December 1968
BSc(1937) MB ChB St And(1940) MRCP(1947) MD(1956) FRCP(1965)
John Paterson was a Scot, educated at Madras College, St Andrews and the University of St Andrews, where he graduated MB ChB with distinction in 1940. His father, James Alexander Paterson, was a minister of the Church of Scotland. On graduation, he joined the RAMC and served throughout the second world war, attaining the rank of Colonel. He had a distinguished service career and saw action at the seige of Imphal. He returned to England and received further medical training at the Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith, from 1947-1953, was appointed senior registrar and took his MRCP in 1947. During this time he did excellent research on the diurnal rhythm of serum iron and splanchnic haemodynamics. He was awarded a Harkness Scholarship by the Commonwealth Fund and spent a year at the University of Rochester, New York. Although he returned to Britain he did not remain long in this country, but joined the ‘brain drain’. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tulane University, New Orleans, in 1953. Three years later he was promoted to Associate Professor, and in 1958 became the William Henderson Professor of the Prevention of Tropical and Semi-Tropical Diseases and Hygiene. He took a keen interest in medical education in South America and was director of the Tulane University International Centre for Medical Research and Training in the University of Valle, in Cali, Colombia. He was particularly helpful in the development of medicine in Panama. He was elected a Fellow of the College in 1965.
Although John Paterson became a United States citizen he remained a loyal Scot. He married Ruth Doreen Revill in 1952 and they had three daughters. British visitors were always welcome at their home in New Orleans where they enjoyed the warm hospitality of John and his wife. He was a scratch golfer, but suffered much ill health in the last few years, and died of a myocardial infarction in his early fifties.
Sir Gordon Wolstenholme
(Volume VI, page 367)
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