Raymond Delacy Adams

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 03 February 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c724
  1. Robert Laureno,
  2. Joseph B Martin

    Pioneering neurologist, innovative teacher, and textbook author

    Raymond Adams, one of the great neurologists of the 20th century, died of congestive heart failure on 18 October 2008, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the Bullard professor of neuropathology emeritus at Harvard Medical School.

    Adams was born to a family of uneducated farmers in Oregon on 13 February 1911. At his parents’ insistence he attended the University of Oregon, where he studied psychology. In 1937 he obtained his medical degree at Duke University.

    After residency in internal medicine at Duke, he obtained a three year Rockefeller fellowship, of which he spent two years at Massachusetts General Hospital, one as a neurology resident and one as a psychiatry fellow. The third year he spent as a psychiatry fellow at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

    He came to prominence as a neuropathologist and neurologist during his 10 year career at Boston City Hospital. From this position he was recruited to the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he directed the neurology programme for more than 25 years. He remained active as a clinician-teacher and author for more than a decade after his retirement as chairman.

    Adams was a spectacularly successful builder of institutions related to the spheres of neurology, …

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