Lives of the fellows

David Richard Leitch

b.23 September 1943 d.8 February 1999
MB ChB Edin(1966) PhD Southampton(1978) MFOM(1980) MD Edin(1986) FFOM RCP(1988) FRCP(1994)

David Richard Leitch was a senior medical officer at Rolls Royce plc. He was born in Stokesley, Cleveland, the son of Matthew David Leitch, an orthopaedic surgeon, and Yvonne Olive née Mallet, an occupational physician. He was educated at Worksop College and then went on to Edinburgh University to study medicine. He held house posts at Darlington Memorial Hospital and the Royal Victoria Hospital, Boscombe.

From 1967 to 1985 he was in the Royal Navy, rising to the rank of surgeon commander, holding posts at the Institute of Naval Medicine, the RN Physiological Laboratory and the RAF Institute of Aviation Medicine. From 1974 to 1976 he was also a research fellow at Southampton University. For four years from 1978 he was based at the US Naval Medical Research Institute, Bethesda. He then spent three years at the Institute of Naval Medicine, as a senior medical officer specializing in underwater medicine, then as a consultant in occupational medicine and in applied physiology.

After leaving the Navy in 1985, he became an employment medical adviser to the Health and Safety Executive. In 1987 he joined IBM as a senior medical officer. Two years later he became senior medical officer (Midlands) for Rolls Royce, and then in 1992 he was appointed as the chief medical officer of the company.

He wrote on a number of topics, including exposure to carbon dioxide, diving accidents, decompression sickness, arterial gas embolism, fitness to dive and the treatment of diving illnesses.

He married Dorothy Lesley née Allen in 1976 and they had a daughter, May. At the time of his election to the Fellowship of the College in 1994 he listed gardening among his interests. He died following a six month fight against cancer.

[Newsletter of the Old Worksopian Society, 1999,p.13]

(Volume XI, page 332)

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