Lives of the fellows

Thomas Ignatius McBride

b.12 July 1934 d.15 February 2000
MB ChB Glasgow(1958) MRCP Edin(1964) MRCP Glasg(1964) MRCP(1965) MD(1969) FRCP Glasg(1974) FRCP Edin(1975) FRCP(1982

Note: the first obituary (below) was published in print form in Volume XI; the second was received after publication of the printed edition.

Thomas Ignatius McBride was a consultant physician at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley. He was born in Paisley, the son of John McBride, a GP, and was educated in Glasgow, at St Aloysius College and then at the university, where he captained the cricket XI and played in the university football team.

From 1960 to 1963 he held a commission with the Royal Air Force. He then entered hospital medicine, where he swiftly gained membership of the colleges of physicians of London, Edinburgh and Glasgow. He spent two years with the Medical Research Council’s hyperbaric oxygen unit and was for a year visiting professor of medicine at McMaster University in Canada. He was appointed as a consultant physician in Paisley in 1973. He was secretary of the joint royal colleges’ standing advisory committee in general medicine in the town and was for seven years treasurer of the Scottish Society of Physicians.

Outside medicine, he enjoyed bridge, learnt Spanish, and played golf and tennis. He took early retirement but continued to do locums. He married Margaret Edith Hanlon (also a doctor) in 1960, and they had three daughters. He died from metastatic carcinoma of the rectum.

RCP editor

[Brit.med.J., 2000,320,1477]

Tom McBride was born in Paisley, the elder son of a general practitioner. He was educated at St Aloysius College, the leading Roman Catholic school in Glasgow, and at the University of Glasgow, where he graduated in 1958. Following residential posts in medicine and surgery, he served for three years in the medical branch of the Royal Air Force with the rank of flight lieutenant.

In 1963 he returned to Glasgow to train in general (internal) medicine and cardiology at the Victoria Infirmary, the Royal Alexandra Infirmary, Paisley, and at the Western Infirmary. He became a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in 1964, and a member of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 1965. He became a fellow of all three colleges, in 1974, 1975 and 1982 respectively.

He spent two years with the Medical Research Council studying the effect of hyperbaric oxygen on myocardial blood flow. This was the subject of an MD thesis, for which he was awarded an honorary degree in 1969. He was awarded a travelling fellowship from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and was visiting professor at McMaster University, Canada, from 1971 to 1972.

He returned to Paisley in 1973 as a consultant physician at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. The need was for a physician with an interest in respiratory medicine and he spent six months on attachment to prepare for the consultant post. The workload was heavy. The medical unit consisted of four physicians working as two teams of two with acute medical admissions being received on alternate days. A four-bedded coronary care unit had been opened in 1971 and McBride shared the management of this unit. He worked with community medicine and public health in the follow-up of patients who had tuberculosis, the surveillance of contacts and the management of children who were tuberculin positive. He also advised on industrial medicine, notably those who had asbestos exposure. He was medical adviser to the Paisley College of Technology, now the University of Paisley.

In addition to the usual undergraduate and postgraduate teaching duties, McBride was involved with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, as an examiner in medicine and on the Standing Advisory Committee in General Medicine, serving as secretary from 1983 to 1987. In addition he was treasurer of the Scottish Society of Physicians from 1975 to 1982.

He took early retirement in 1993, but continued to do locum posts in general and geriatric medicine, principally in Paisley but occasionally elsewhere. He was a member of the Medical Appeals Tribunal.

Outside medicine, McBride had many interests. As an undergraduate he played both soccer and cricket for the university. He was proud of the fact that he played in the opening soccer game of the 12th World University Games in Hungary in 1954 before a crowd of 85,000 spectators. An average golfer, he was a member of Royal Troon and Glasgow golf clubs. He played tennis regularly until shortly before his death. He was a first division bridge player. He learnt Spanish after spending regular holidays in Tenerife.

McBride was very much a family man. His wife Margaret was in the same year at university, graduating with him in 1958. They had three daughters, the youngest daughter developing insulin-dependent diabetes while still at school. This made the family very supportive and it was ironic that he should himself develop maturity onset diabetes.

He died from carcinoma of the rectum with metastases. The diagnosis was made after a liver scan had shown metastatic deposits. He faced his final illness with great courage and resignation, aided by his religious faith and the close support of his family.

Stuart G McAlpine

(Volume XI, page web)

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