Intended for healthcare professionals


Alexander Macdougal CookeJames Rollo BallantyneRoger Malcolm Richard BarnesEvan FletcherJohn Nigel Harcourt-WebsterSamuel (“Stanley”) Leslie IsaacsJack JosephSidney LevineJohn Stewart MatherGeorge Ranken Tudhope

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 20 February 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:540

Alexander Macdougal Cooke

  1. David Pyke

    Embedded Image

    Former consultant physician Oxford (b 1899; q Oxford/St Thomas's 1923; MD, FRCP),d 5 January 1999. He went into the Royal Flying Corps in the first world war, but it ended just before he could start serious shooting. After qualifying he was appointedthe only medical registrar at St Thomas's. He did not get the expected appointment; instead (a great stroke of luck he considered it) he was appointed to the Radcliffe Infirmary in 1932 where he remained. His appointments included director of medical students, examiner, counsellor, Lumleian lecturer, and fellow of Merton College. He was truly a general physician. When he started he was amazed to see cases of pernicious anaemia treated with half cooked liver andcases of diabetes receiving the new, impure, bulky (but life saving) insulin. He was an outstanding teacher, being particularly good at clinical demonstrations, which were remembered by the students for decades. His pithy sayings were famous—for example, “It costs more than you think”; “It takes longer than you think”; and, after he had had a wisdom tooth out, “a minor operation is an operation done on someone else.” They are included in his 1994 publication My First75 Years in Medicine. Alec Cooke had an effect on the whole physician community ininnumerable ways, and as a result was one of the most revered and beloved physicians of our time. Predeceased by his wife, Vera, and a daughter, he leaves a son and two daughters.

    James Rollo Ballantyne

    1. John Ballantyne

      Former general practitioner Walton-on-Thames (b Nottingham 1917; q St Mary's 1942; DObstRCOG), d 30 December1998. A competent pianist, Rollo was cofounder of the MusicSociety at St Mary's and initiated a series of celebrity concerts; the pianist Solomon played 11 times in 15 years. He served in the Royal Army Medical Corpsfor over three years, and when he entered general practice …

      View Full Text

      Log in

      Log in through your institution


      * For online subscription