Lives of the fellows

Paul Turner

b.16 April 1933 d.25 December 1994
CBE(1992) BSc Lond(1955) MB BS(1958) MRCP(1962) MD(1965) FRCP(1973) MRPharmS(1977) FFPM RCP(1990)

Paul Turner was a professor of clinical pharmacology and honorary consultant physician at St Bartholomew’s for 21 years before his early death from a heart attack. He was born in London and educated at Roan School for Boys in Blackheath. Deciding on a career as a doctor, he went to the University of London to study medicine, qualifying in 1958. His first junior hospital appointment was at the Middlesex Hospital where he was a house physician and later a house neurosurgeon.He then moved to the Royal Free Hospital as a senior house officer. Between 1961 and 1962 he worked at Edgware General Hospital as a medical registrar. In 1963 Turner joined the staff of St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School, first as a lecturer in clinical pharmacology and later as a reader and professor.

He became president of the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine, the Medical Society of London and the experimental medicine and therapeutics section of the Royal Society of Medicine. He was chairman of numerous committees.

His achievements were recognized with numerous honours and distinctions. He was awarded a SmithKline and French (now SmithKline Beecham) visiting professorship in the USA in 1984, an Edwin Tooth visiting professorship in medicine at the Royal Brisbane Hospital in 1987 and was Lilly lecturer of the British Pharmacological Society and Leon Goldberg lecturer in toxicology in 1992.

During his career he wrote more than 600 papers and numerous books, including Clinical aspects of autonomic pharmacology (Philadelpha, Lippincott, 1969). His reputation for academic excellence brought students from across the world to learn and contribute to his flourishing unit. He was always in demand abroad as a visiting professor or as chairman of international meetings.

His premature retirement due to ischaemic heart disease was a tragedy for clinical pharmacology. He continued to contribute to medicine as academic dean and then president elect of the Royal Society of Medicine and as a member of the court of the Worshipful Company of Apothecaries, among many other posts and responsibilities.

Paul Turner enjoyed good company, international travel, food and wine and piano and organ music. He married twice, first to Margaret Manton in 1954 and secondly to Kathleen Weaver in 1968. He had two daughters, one from each marriage. At the time of his death from a third myocardial infarction he was half way through a three year St Albans and Oxford ministry course. He had intended to become a non-stipendiary minister.

RCP editor

[Brit.med.J., 1995,310,394; The Times, 9 Jan 1995]

(Volume X, page 499)

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