Lives of the fellows

Iain Tait Ferguson

b.12 July 1948 d.22 March 2015
MB ChB St And(1972) MRCP(1976) MD Dundee(1982) FRCP Edin(1986) FRCP(1990) T(M)(1991)

Iain Tait Ferguson was a quintessentially Scottish gentleman and a consultant neurologist at Frenchay and Southmead hospitals in Bristol. Born and brought up in Dundee, he never lost his Scottish accent, despite moving south, first to Manchester and then on to Bristol for his consultant post.

The son of two medical practitioners, John Gibb Ferguson and Jean Baxter Ferguson, he was educated at Bootham School in York and then trained in medicine at the Bute Medical School at St Andrews. After qualifying in 1972, his first years as a doctor were in his home town of Dundee. In 1977 he moved to Manchester, as a lecturer and senior registrar at the Royal Infirmary. From 1983 he was a consultant in Bristol.

He became an excellent general neurologist, later developing an interest in muscle disorders and musculoskeletal problems. Iain was usually the first person his colleagues would turn to for advice on their patients. His opinion was held in high regard and this was reflected in his large clinical and medico-legal private practice.

Iain was always impeccably dressed, with a sense of style and colour coordination and a handkerchief always available. When on call, he could be found gardening in his suit and brogues! Later on in life, he developed a slight, rather distinguished stoop. He had a dry, cheeky sense of humour and was great company, as well as being a loyal and supportive colleague.

He greeted the news of his impending death with equanimity, always uncomplaining and far more concerned for the wellbeing of his family and colleagues than for himself. He faced his final illness with bravery and no hint of self-pity. When friends and family were asked for three words to describe Iain, they were ‘family’, ‘gentleman’ and ‘work’.

He was survived by his widow Mary, whom he met at St Andrews, and their two sons, James and Robert. He will be remembered as a most distinguished, kind and gentlemanly Scottish neurologist.

John Harvey

(Volume XII, page web)

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