Lives of the fellows

John Anthony Spencer

b.20 October 1956 d.18 April 2015
BA Cantab(1979) BChir(1982) MB(1983) MRCP(1985) FRCR(1988) MD(1996) FRCP(2002)

John Anthony Spencer was a consultant radiologist at St James’s University Hospital, Leeds. He was born in Kingston upon Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire. His mother was Maria Helena Elizabeth Spencer, a housewife; his father, John Spencer, was an electrical engineer. He was educated at Beverley Grammar School and then went on to study medicine at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and Westminster Medical School. At Westminster he wrote comedies and acted in the summer arts festival. He qualified from Cambridge with a distinction in physic.

He held house posts at Westminster Hospital, in both the professorial medical and surgical departments. He was a senior house officer at St Thomas’ Hospital in the intensive care unit and at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School under Sir Colin Dollery. He gained his MRCP in 1985 and in the same year he went to Oxford to join the John Radcliffe Hospital radiology training programme as a registrar and then a senior registrar.

He became a fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists in 1988 and subsequently developed an interest in oncology imaging, working with Stephen Golding in Oxford and taking advice from Dame Janet Husband at the Royal Marsden Hospital and Adrian Dixon in Cambridge.

In 1991 he became an assistant professor of radiology at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Some of the research carried out in Philadelphia was used for his MD, awarded in 1996.

In 1993 he was appointed to his post at St James’s University Hospital, Leeds. He was at the forefront of developing the multidisciplinary team approach to gynaecological cancer care in Leeds, and from 1997 he was the lead radiologist for the Yorkshire cancer network.

He was a popular teacher and lecturer. In 2000 he was the inaugural Roentgen professor of the Royal College of Radiologists, and in 2009 he was the Rohan Williams travelling professor. He was on several standing committees at the Royal College of Radiologists, including the faculty board, council and the journal editorial committee. He was a visiting professor in Israel, Switzerland, South Africa, Turkey, New Zealand, India and Oman.

As a member of the executive committees of the International Cancer Imaging Society and the European Society of Uroradiology, he was instrumental in the development of cancer imaging guidelines.

Outside medicine, he enjoyed motor racing and acquired a small collection of British racing cars. He was chairman of the Thorp Arch Tennis Club and was a member of his local cycling club.

In 1986 he married Caroline Lesley Wilson, whom he had met at Cambridge. A consultant dermatologist, she also became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. They had three children, Alice, Jack and Katie.

RCP editor

[BMJ 2015 350 4551 – accessed 27 July 2016]

(Volume XII, page web)

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