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Keith HodgkinDavid LintottPhilippa Mary LudlamMichael Patrick QuinlanRoy Kenneth Rowley

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 31 July 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:323

Keith Hodgkin

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Former general practitioner Teesside (b Banbury 1918; q Oxford 1943), died from coronary heart disease on 2 June 1999. Keith observed his patients and their symptoms all his life and became a meticulous record keeper. The result was Towards Earlier Diagnosis, which was turned down by several publishers but influenced many generations of GPs. He was part of the generation of postwar GPs who transformed general practice into the effective bedrock of the NHS. His particular achievement was to use his own painstaking records—especially of his mistakes—to research the natural history of undifferentiated illness presented in ordinary practice. He helped many doctors make sense of a world for which hospital training had illprepared them. From 1973 to 1978 he was professor of general practice in Newfoundland. When asked why Newfoundland his standard reply was that it was the only medical school where he could attend committees and still look out of the window and watch ospreys fishing. He was a founder member of the Royal College …

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