William Price

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 17 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5568
  1. Mary Price

The archetypal clinician scientist, William Price (“Bill”) took up research and teaching positions in Edinburgh. This enabled him to pursue his passion of applying scientific research to clinical practice after junior posts in Bristol, Exeter, Cardiff, London, and Newcastle. With characteristic drive to investigate and understand clinical observation, Bill built and applied a manometer. This revealed the haemodynamic basis for anterior tibial compartment syndrome (“shin splints”); and showed that the presence of gallstones did not correlate with symptoms of cholecystitis. An interest in genetics led to his innovative research into why family history was a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. He conducted longitudinal population studies of apolipoproteins and cholesterol concentrations in Scottish subjects predisposed to ischaemic heart disease.

He also contributed to understanding the effect of sex chromosome abnormalities, which led him to debunk a myth that XYY males are predisposed to criminal psychopathy. Bill also introduced the Edinburgh GP attachment scheme to bring primary care doctors closer to individual hospital physicians with whom they could consult, promoting continuity of patient care. He devoted much of his retirement to satisfying a continuously curious mind by cultivating grapes in the back garden of his holiday home near Bordeaux and turning it into wine. He leaves Mary, his wife of 59 years, who worked as a GP in Edinburgh; and four children—David, John, Gillian, and Jacqueline—all of whom qualified in medicine from the University of Edinburgh Medical School.

Honorary consultant physician Lothian Health Board; MRC clinician researcher (consultant grade) and senior lecturer University of Edinburgh Medical School (b 1932; q Welsh National School of Medicine 1955; FRCP), d 16 September 2016.

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