Richard Humphrey Tudor Edwards

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 20 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6774
  1. C Mark Wiles

Richard Humphrey Tudor Edwards exemplified the skills of a clinician scientist in his ability to apply a physiological analysis to the problems besetting patients with neuromuscular disorders and then to use the findings to develop a scientific approach to treatment. Following research in human physiology he moved, through a series of collaborations, to develop techniques aiding the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of a wide range of neuromuscular disorders. He successfully enthused colleagues and trainees alike with his spirit of inquiry, and he taught the clear-sighted elements of his own understanding and compassionate clinical care to many clinical and non-clinical research fellows. A man of startlingly quick intelligence, both honest and modest in his approach to all, he intuitively sensed the needs of the patient in front of him with communication facilitated because of his obvious interest in their condition.

Edwards was born, the son of a butcher, on 28 January 1939 in Llangollen, North Wales. He came from a close family, and his roots in Wales and the family from which he came were self evidently of cardinal importance and great pride throughout his life. He won a state scholarship in 1957 to study medicine at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, where he excelled. As a student his love of the hills and his enthusiasm for the physiology of exercise and the respiratory system were given their head when he was able to study the regulation of breathing at a French research station high on Mont Blanc.

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