Lives of the fellows

John Stephen Doyle

b.22 December 1929 d.18 August 2004
MB BS NUI(1955) MD(1963) FRCPI(1969) FRPCS Glasg(1992) FACP(1992) FRCP Edin(1992) FRCPC(1993) FRACP(1993) FCPSSA(1993) FRCP(1994) Hon ScM Dublin(1994) DPH Liverpool DCH NUI

J Stephen Doyle was a leading Irish gastroenterologist and professor of medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. He was born in Dublin, the son of Joseph Doyle, professor of botany at University College, and his wife, Elizabeth, a housewife. He was educated at Belvedere College, where he played rugby, tennis and cricket. After leaving school, he spent a year in insurance before entering University College. He qualified in medicine in 1955.

He held junior posts at St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, under D K O’Donovan and T C O’Connell, and was subsequently a senior house officer, at Coombe Hospital and then St Michael's Hospital, Dun Laoghaire. In 1958 he moved to Liverpool, to Alder Hey and Fazakerley hospitals.

In 1960, he returned to Ireland, as a medical tutor at University College Dublin and St Vincent’s Hospital. He was then a senior registrar in medicine at St Lawrence’s Hospital. For two years he was in the United States, as a fellow in internal medicine at the Lahey Clinic, Boston, and then as a clinical assistant and research fellow at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond.

In 1965, he was appointed as a consultant physician and gastroenterologist at St Lawrence’s, and continued in this post when the hospital was amalgamated into the newly-built Beaumont Hospital. He also practised in the Bon Secours Hospital, Glasnevin. Doyle was one of the pioneers of modern day endoscopy in Ireland, and the endoscopy suite at the Beaumont Hospital has been named in his honour. His main research interest was in oesophageal motility.

He spent a sabbatical as medical director of the Ibn Al Bitar Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq, and was responsible for introducing endoscopy there.

He was professor of medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland from 1975 until his retirement in 1993, and president of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland from 1991 to 1994. He was president of the Irish Medical Council until 1996, when he was forced to give up the post due to poor health.

Always interested in horses and the country life, he retired to a small farm in Coolgreany, county Wexford, where he took up hunter breeding. He was also a medical adviser to horse shows and regularly attended the Dublin Horse Show. He married Catherine Mary, a University College Dublin science graduate, in 1963. She survived him, as did their two daughters, Louise and Juliana, and son, Mark.

RCP editor

[The Irish Times 16 October 2004]

(Volume XII, page web)

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