Lives of the fellows

Constance Catherine Forsyth

b.25 July 1923 d.14 April 2006
MB ChB Edin(1945) MRCP Edin(1947) MRCP(1948) MD(1949) FRCP Edin(1962) FRCP(1972)

Constance (‘Connie’) Catherine Forsyth was a reader in child health at the University of Dundee. She was born in Edinburgh, the daughter of William Collins Forsyth, a schoolmaster and head of the science department at George Watsons’ Boys’ College in Edinburgh, and Mary Watt Forsyth née Gardner. Forsyth was educated George Watson’s Ladies’ College, and then went on to study medicine at Edinburgh University. She qualified in 1945 and within three years had gained the membership of both the Edinburgh and London Royal Colleges.

She was a clinical assistant under Sir Derrick Dunlop [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VII, p.170] at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, and was subsequently a house physician at St Alfege’s Hospital in London. She then took up a research fellowship in the department of therapeutics, Edinburgh University, obtaining an MD with commendation for her research into diets in diabetic children. This led to her lifelong interest in diabetes.

She undertook further training in paediatrics at Toronto and at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where she developed an interest in corticosteroid metabolism in children. In 1957 she was appointed to the department of child health in Dundee, where she continued to work in this field, gaining an international reputation. At Dundee she also contributed to the clinical care of children and taught medical students.

In the mid-1960s, she was one of the first British members of the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology. She was also instrumental in setting up the British Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, when she called together a group of paediatric endocrinologists to Dundee in 1972, on the occasion of a visit by the German paediatrician and endocrinologist Walter Teller.

Outside medicine, she was a loyal member of St Mary’s Church in Dundee. She was a keen swimmer and enjoyed golf. She also liked to go on motoring holidays around Europe, which earlier in her life she had shared with her friend June Lloyd [Munk’s Roll, Vol.XII, web]. She was unmarried.

RCP editor

[Brit.med.J., 2006 332 1396; Herald Scotland www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/aberdeen/connie-forsyth-1.21039 – accessed 31 May 2013; The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh www.rcpe.ac.uk/publications/obituaries/2006/forsyth.phpBorn: – accessed 31 May 2013]

(Volume XII, page web)

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