Lives of the fellows

Brian Thomas Williams

b.21 April 1937 d.26 April 2005
MB BS Lond(1961) DPH(1964) DPM(1965) MD Sheffield(1973) MFCM(1973) FFCM(1978) FRCP(1990)

Brian Thomas Williams was professor of public health medicine at the University of Sheffield and then the University of Nottingham. He was born at Treorchy in the Rhondda Valley, the son of Thomas Brynmor Williams, a coalminer, and Evelyn Mary Williams, a housewife. He was educated at Rhondda County Grammar School and then went on to study medicine at Westminster Hospital Medical School, where he gained the public health prize in 1960.

He held house posts at Westminster Hospital and then went to Horton Hospital, Epsom, where he was a senior house officer in psychiatry. In 1963 he was a senior house officer in geriatrics at Queen’s Hospital, Croydon. He then gained his diploma in psychological medicine (DPM). From 1965 to 1968, he was a research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the National Institute for Social Work Training, and a lecturer in social medicine on the nursing course at Queen Elizabeth College, University of London.

From 1968 to 1970, he worked as a senior medical officer in adult health at Northamptonshire County Council, and as a lecturer in medical statistics on the DPM course at the Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene. In 1970 he was appointed as assistant senior medical officer (medical care research) to Sheffield Regional Hospital Board, seconded to the department of community medicine at the University of Sheffield. He gained his MD from Sheffield in 1973.

Between 1973 and 1980, he was a specialist in community medicine for Trent Regional Health Authority, and an honorary lecturer at the department of community medicine at the University of Sheffield. From 1980 until 1984 he was senior lecturer in the same department. In 1984 he was appointed as professor and head of the department of public health medicine at the University of Sheffield and as director of the medical care research unit. In 1996 he moved to Nottingham University Medical School.

His research included an examination of general practitioner deputising services, housing and health, the links between the public health sector and the NHS, accident and emergency services, and the evaluation of technological innovations.

In 1994 he was a visiting professor at Columbia University School of Public Health, New York. He was joint editor of Community Medicine between 1979 and 1984, and was a member of the editorial boards of the International Journal of Environmental Health Research and of Health Trends

Outside medicine, he was interested in classical music, church history and wine. He played the piano at the Eisteddfod when he was 17 and later became a church organist. In 1962 he married Catherine Ellen Williams. They had two sons (Stephen and David) and two daughters (Janet and Bethan). He died from Parkinsonism.

RCP editor

[Brit.med.J. 2005 331 700]

(Volume XII, page web)

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