Lives of the fellows

James Lockhart Russell

b.6 February 1926 d.6 July 2011
MB BCh BAO Belf(1950) MSc Minnesota(1960) FRCP(1976)

James (‘Jim’) Lockhart Russell was a consultant physician in Belfast. He was born in Belfast, the son of George Russell, who worked for the Belfast Banking Company. Jim was educated at the Methodist College, leaving in 1944. He volunteered for the Armed Forces and served with the Fleet Air Arm and the Royal Marines. He was due to be sent to the Far East, but the posting was cancelled once the Japanese surrendered. Instead, he was released early so he could take up his medical studies at Queen's University, Belfast. He graduated in 1950.

He undertook his junior house officer year at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, and, after further clinical posts, went in 1957 to the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA, as a fellow in medicine. His research interest was in the use of an indicator-dilution method for the localisation and quantification of left to right cardiac shunts, for which he was awarded an MSc in medicine by the University of Minnesota.

He returned to Ulster late in 1960, and from January 1961 to September 1965 he was a senior registrar and senior tutor in medicine. In October 1965 he was appointed as a consultant physician to the Waveney Hospital, Ballymena, and the Massereene Hospital, Antrim. Some seven years later he moved to the Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast, where the medical unit provided take-in cover for the whole of Belfast one day a week, and medical cover to the rest of the site including the Withers Orthopaedic Unit. In January 1986 the Musgrave Park medical unit was transferred into new accommodation in the just-opened tower block at the Belfast City Hospital. The move led to a loss of autonomy and resources, and some upheaval, as old working relationships were destroyed and new ones created. Jim regretted these changes but adapted to them. He retired from full-time practice in 1991, but did locum work in a number of smaller hospitals for almost another decade. He was thoughtful and intelligent, and a true general physician for whom patient contact was always important.

He travelled widely in retirement and enjoyed his lifelong hobby of bird-watching despite increasing problems with mobility. He was also interested in family history and undertook numerous trips to sites of particular interest.

In 1965 he married Dorothy Hayes, a consultant histopathologist and honorary lecturer at Queen's University of Belfast.

J I Logan

(Volume XII, page web)

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