Lives of the fellows

Fred Jacob Davidson

b.21 August 1917 d.3 January 2013
MB BCh Wits(1940) MRCP(1948) FRCP(1973)

Fred Jacob Davidson was a consultant physician in Durban, South Africa. He was born in Piet Retief, Transvaal, the son of Isaac Davidson, a company director, and Sonia Davidson née Rabinowitz, the daughter of a farmer. He was educated at Pretoria Boys’ High School and then studied medicine at Witwatersrand University, qualifying in 1940.

He held junior posts at Johannesburg General Hospital and Grey’s Hospital, Pietermaritzburg, and then served in the South African Medical Corps from 1943 to 1946.

Following his demobilisation, he was a senior medical officer at Grey’s Hospital and then, in 1947, went to the UK for postgraduate study, working at Hammersmith Hospital, London. He gained his MRCP in 1948.

On his return to South Africa, he was appointed as an assistant physician at King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban, a post he held until 1954. From 1955 he was an assistant physician and lecturer in the faculty of medicine at the University of Natal, becoming a senior physician and lecturer there in 1959, and a consultant physician in Durban. From 1957 to 1958 he spent another period in the UK, at Hammersmith Hospital, the National Heart Hospital and Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford.

When he was elected to the fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians in 1973 he noted: ‘I have participated in the teaching of medical undergraduates and postgraduates for 25 years, and have been attached to the Department of Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine, Natal University (which is devoted to the training of black students) since its inception in 1955.’

Outside medicine he enjoyed golf, swimming, music, philately, wild life, cricket and rugby.

In 1949 he married Mary MacOwan Schonland, the daughter of Sir Basil Schonland, a fellow of the Royal Society and the first president of the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. They had three sons.

RCP editor

(Volume XII, page web)

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