Lives of the fellows

Ewart Martin Jepson

b.10 October 1927 d.1 March 2003
MB BS Lond(1950) MRCP(1955) MD(1963) FRCP(1972)

Ewart Jepson was one of a now rapidly diminishing band - a truly general physician. Appointed to the staff of the Willesden General and Acton Hospitals in 1963, he was a great champion of the small hospital, providing general service to the local community. When he was appointed to the Central Middlesex Hospital in 1972 he continued to campaign for this cause. Although, perhaps inevitably, he lost this battle, he gained the respect of his colleagues for his vigour and political skill.

His medical training was at the Westminster Hospital, and, after house appointments, he did his National Service in the Royal Army Medical Corps. This was to prove to be no sinecure. Within a few months he was posted to Korea, where he saw active service as a medical officer.

After discharge from the army he underwent a broad training programme, culminating in a senior registrar post at his old teaching hospital, the Westminster.

As a consultant physician, he took a particular interest in cardiology and the conditions that predispose to coronary disease - especially diabetes and disorders of lipid metabolism. He carried out research on serum lipids on a part-time basis at the Westminster Hospital. Shortly after his appointment as a consultant, he was invited to join the staff of the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, St John's Wood, and was chairman of the medical advisory committee from 1989 to 1996.

He was an outstanding teacher of medical students. At the time of his appointment the Central Middlesex had strong teaching links with the Middlesex Hospital Medical School and later with St Mary's. No one was better qualified than Ewart to give undergraduate students a sound basis in clinical method and patient management in all its aspects. He was also a shrewd but kindly examiner, for both the MB and MRCP examinations.

Ewart was a generous individual who really enjoyed the company of doctors. He was a fellow of the Hunterian Society from 1974 and a liveryman of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries from 1977. However, his main interest lay in the Medical Society of London, which he joined in 1955 while still a medical registrar. He became its president in 1981. He edited the Transactions of the Society from 1964 to 1980 and was involved in negotiations with the Wellcome Library which led to the sale of a number of books, helping to give the Society its current sound financial base.

He was a man of wide interests, which he enjoyed developing during his retirement. A keen and knowledgeable gardener, he was an opera lover who, besides supporting the ENO, regularly attended the annual Wexford Festival. He was also a birdwatcher and loved to walk from his house in Southwold along the north Suffolk coast. He lived life to the full.

John F Newcombe

(Volume XI, page 299)

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