Lives of the fellows

Michael John Stratton Langman

b.30 January 1935 d.8 April 2014
BSc Lond(1956) MB BS(1959) MRCS LRCP(1958) MRCP(1960) MD(1965) FRCP(1973)

Michael John Stratton Langman was professor of medicine at the University of Birmingham and an advocate of rigorous research in therapeutics. Born in Gravesend, Kent, he was the son of John Andrew Hansell Langman, an official at the Bank of England and his wife, Edith Margaret née Warrack. His mother was the daughter of James Stratton Warrack, who was medically qualified and worked for the Public Health Service. Educated at Colet Court Preparatory School and St Pauls, he studied medicine at London University and Guy’s Hospital.

After qualifying MB BS in 1959 he did house jobs at Guy’s, then moved to the Brompton and Hammersmith Hospitals, and the National Hospital, Queen Square for the next two years. From 1961 to 1963 he was a registrar in gastroenterology at the Central Middlesex Hospital. The following year he became a lecturer in medicine at Guy’s, before joining the scientific staff of the Medical Research Council (MRC)’s statistical and gastroenterology research units, where he stayed until 1968.

On leaving the MRC, he joined the faculty of medicine at the University of Nottingham Medical School and worked at the Nottingham hospitals. He became reader in medicine in 1970 and, three years later, was appointed professor of therapeutics at the university and honorary consultant physician to the Nottingham hospitals. Finally he moved to Birmingham University as professor of medicine.

He was the author of various publications on topics such as gastroenterology, clinical pharmacology, genetics and epidemiology. An article in The Independent in 1994 drew attention to a study he was involved in which advocated that GPs should change the drugs that they habitually prescribed as pain killers to elderly patients as using less risky ones should save perhaps 100 to 200 lives a year and cut hospital admissions for bleeding ulcers and similar side-effects by as much as 2000 per year. Some years later the same newspaper drew attention to his sceptical comments in the Lancet relating to the merits of homoeopathic therapy.

Outside medicine he enjoyed cricket, playing squash and listening to music.

In 1960 he married Rosemary Ann née Hempton, the daughter of Eric Hempton, who was a bank manager. They had two daughters and two sons. When he died Rosemary survived him, together with their children and grandchildren.

RCP editor

[Independent 2 May 1994 and 19 September 1997]

(Volume XII, page web)

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