Lives of the fellows

Joseph McEvoy

b.15 August 1936 d.11 April 2011
MB BCh BAO Belfast(1959) MD(1965) FACP(1979) FRCP(1981)

Joseph McEvoy was a nephrologist in Northern Ireland, New Zealand and latterly the United States. Born in Belfast where his father, James, was head postmaster, he was educated at St Kevin’s Primary School and St Malachy’s College. He studied medicine at Queen’s University of Belfast and the Mater Infirmorum Hospital (MIH), Belfast. After qualifying in 1959, he did house jobs at the MIH and at the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) in Belfast from 1959 to 1962 when he became registrar, then senior registrar, at the RVH. While there he was influenced by Sir Graham Bull [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VIII, p.65] who encouraged him to specialise in nephrology. He stayed in this post until 1967, during which time he also lectured in medicine at Queen’s, progressing in seniority from junior tutor to senior lecturer.

In 1967 he was appointed a consultant physician to the RVH and the following year became consultant nephrologist at the RVH and Belfast City Hospital. With Mollie McGeown [Munk’s Roll, Vol.XII, web] he set up the Belfast City Hospital renal unit and together they advanced kidney transplantation procedures by showing that low dose steroid therapy would prevent rejection. After eight years, depressed by the seemingly intractable problems in Northern Ireland, he moved to New Zealand in 1975. He was consultant nephrologist at the Wellington Hospital and senior lecturer in nephrology at the University of Otago for two years. Finally he moved to the USA in 1978 as associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Cincinnati.

A popular teacher, he was famous for diluting his obvious erudition with humour, storytelling and a great capacity to remember and recite limericks.

In 1968 he married Anne Mary née McCarroll the daughter of Francis Edward McCarroll, a newspaper owner. She also qualified in medicine and was an MRCP. They had three children. After retirement he lived in California and, when he died suddenly in Los Angeles from a head injury after a fall, he was survived by his children Grainne, Niamh, and Ciaran, and by his sisters, Elizabeth, Moya, Eithne, and Deirdre.

RCP editor

[BMJ 2011 343 6192 www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d6192 - accessed 2 September 2015; Belfast Telegraph 13 April 2011]

(Volume XII, page web)

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