Maurice Wood

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 14 April 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2129
  1. Barbara Kermode-Scott
  1. Comox, British Columbia
  1. kermodeb{at}

Primary care pioneer and advocate influenced family medicine worldwide

For more than 60 years Maurice Wood was a passionate advocate for primary care, best evidence, academic research, and the generalist physician’s role, in the UK, US, and around the world.

Born in County Durham, Wood was a GP in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, from 1950 to 1971. A member of the Royal College of General Practitioners, he took his experience of general practice and practice based research to the US and changed primary care research there and globally. He was interested in the classification of diseases, vocational training, health informatics, and mental health. In 1972, as a co-founder of the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG), he helped pioneer a multidisciplinary, multimethod, and multinational research organisation for family medicine researchers. Also in 1972, he joined Henk Lemberts to form the World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA) International Classification Committee. Together the two men co-created a new epidemiology tool for classifying and analysing data from family medicine clinical encounters—the International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC, 1987; now in its second edition, ICPC-2).

After he had qualified, Wood served in the Royal Army Medical Corps until 1949, attaining the rank of major. In 1948, while working …

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