Lives of the fellows

Alastair Hugh McDonald

b.24 December 1937 d.19 July 2012
BSc Edin(1959) MB ChB(1962) MRCP Edin(1965) MRCP(1966) FRCP(1978)

Alastair Hugh McDonald was a cardiologist at the London Hospital. Born in Arbroath, he was the son of Alexander McDonald, a cinema manager and projectionist. Educated at Arbroath High School and the Bathgate Academy, he studied medicine at Edinburgh University where he was president of the student’s union. Qualifying in 1962, he did house jobs at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh and then became assistant lecturer in the department of medicine at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh from 1963 to 1966. On moving to London, he became a registrar at the National Heart Hospital for the next four years before transferring to the London Hospital as a senior registrar in the cardiac department, where he was influenced by the work of Wallace Brigden [Munk’s Roll, Vol.XII, web] and Lawson McDonald [Munk’s Roll, Vol.XII, web]. Appointed senior lecturer in cardiology and honorary cardiologist at the London Hospital Medical College in 1971, he was later clinical director of cardiac services.

Medical education was very important to him and he eventually became, subdean for clinical medicine and president of the Staff-Students’ Association. An astute politician, from 1989 to 1991 he was chair of the North East Thames Regional Postgraduate Committee and then from 1991 to 1994 he was chair of the Medical Council of the Royal London Hospital. He was also chair of the clinical ethics committee of the Royal Hospitals Trust and civil consultant in cardiology to the Royal Navy. From 1992 to 1998 he was non-executive director of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham Health Authority and, after retirement from the NHS, chair of the North West London Hospitals NHS Trust from 1999 to 2004.

He enjoyed playing squash, walking and skiing (at which he became highly skilled). Other enthusiasms were listening to music, collecting claret, attending the theatre and gardening.

In 1965 he married Susan Catherine née Olivier, whose father Eric Lionel Carr Olivier was a jobber on the Stock Exchange. When he died, Susan survived him, together with their three daughters and eight grandchildren.

RCP editor

[BMJ 2012 345 6469 www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e6469; Barts and The London Chronicle www.qmul.ac.uk/alumni/worddocs/Alumni%20communications/BLC/115267.pdf - both accessed 25 November 2015]

(Volume XII, page web)

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