Lives of the fellows

John Peter Pendrell Stock

b.9 May 1910 d.4 October 1973
MB ChB Bristol(1932) MD(1935) MRCP(1948) FRCP(1961)

Peter Stock was born in Clifton to William Stuart Vernon Stock and Ella Christine (née Weston). His father was an anaesthetist on the staff of Bristol Royal Infirmary and his uncle, Philip Graham Stock (q.v.), was a distinguished epidemiologist working at the Ministry of Health and one time Director of Medical Services for the Union of South Africa.

From Clifton College he entered Bristol University in 1927, graduating in 1932 and proceeding to the MD in 1935. He boxed at welter-weight for his University.

After resident hospital appointments in Bristol he entered general practice in Stoke on Trent in 1934. Following his subsequent appointment to two small local hospitals, he gave up general practice and devoted himself to consulting medicine.

Stock realised that he must become a member of the College if he were to have reasonable prospects of an appointment to either of the large local hospitals when the projected re-organisation took place under the National Health Service. He set about this task with characteristic determination and obtained the MRCP just before the inauguration of the Health Service in 1948. He was immediately appointed to the City General Hospital and his progress from this time was remarkable.

Stock continued for some time to practise general medicine and became a notably astute clinician. His interest soon focussed on cardiology, and although he had no specialised training or experience in this discipline he became a cardiologist of international repute before his death.

For several years Stock made a weekly round journey of 100 miles to Birmingham, to learn the techniques of cardiac catheterisation and acquire expertise in the rapidly expanding field of cardiology. He then set up a well equipped cardiology department at the City General Hospital, and from 1956 he confined his work to cardiology and later gave up private practice. A coronary care unit and the appointment of a second consultant cardiologist followed. Stock’s enterprise, pursued with single-minded determination, secured a comprehensive cardiology service for North Staffordshire. He became a member of the Council of the British Heart Foundation and was elected a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

Stock’s most important publications were in the field of cardiology, ranging from the design of a stethoscope (in collaboration with C.R. Birch, FRS) to his authoritative book on The Diagnosis and Treatment of Cardiac Arrhythmias.

Stock, with a small local group of colleagues, had for long cherished the idea of building a centre for postgraduate education and research, and when he became President of the local Medical Society he seized the opportunity, and planning and fund raising went ahead. In 1965 the North Staffordshire Medical Institute for Postgraduate Education and Research, built and equipped from voluntary subscriptions, was opened. The Medical Institute made great contributions to medical development in North Staffordshire, and indeed the Ministry of Health soon followed the lead and funded similar projects throughout the provinces.

It was perhaps characteristic of Stock that, having accomplished his purpose, he took no part in running the Medical Institute once it was established, and never held office in it, but devoted his energies to the development of cardiology in North Staffordshire, and to the revision of his book. His professional activities left him little time for leisure but he was an enthusiastic golfer and had a comprehensive knowledge of the history of the game, and the lives of its more illustrious exponents.

Stock was twice married and left a daughter and two sons by his first wife.

A McCall

[Brit.med.J., 1973, 4, 495; Lancet, 1973, 2, 1101; North Staffs. Med. Inst. J., 1974, 7, 7]

(Volume VI, page 418)

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