David Augustus Noel (“Dan”) HoyteBMJ 2005; 330 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.330.7491.604-a (Published 10 March 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:604
David Augustus Noel ("Dan") HoyteProfessor of anatomy University of the West Indies, Jamaica, 1964-74; senior lecturer, then reader, human morphology department, Nottingham, 1974-2003; general practitioner Kegworth 1974-93 (b St Lucia, West Indies, 1923; q Manchester 1946), died from multiple system atrophy on 23 August 2004.
My father grew up as one of the few black West Indians in Bolton, Lancashire. He was imbued from his early youth with a fierce desire to succeed. In this he followed the examples of his father, uncle, guardian, and brother, who were all doctors.
From his student days anatomy and anatomical research were enduring passions. After spending 1947-9 in the Royal Army Medical Corps, he joined the department of anatomy in Manchester in 1952, rising from demonstrator to lecturer.
His research for his MD thesis used alizarin dye intra-vitally in small mammals to study the growth of the skull. He continued to research this area for the rest of his life. His demonstration of the mechanisms of craniofacial growth was important to practitioners in the fields of dentistry, orthodontics, plastic, and reconstructive surgery, enabling the development of treatment techniques.
Ambition and a desire to rediscover his "roots" took him, wife Vera, and children to Jamaica in 1960. He joined the newly created University College (later University) of the West Indies, becoming professor of anatomy in 1964. He was instrumental in developing the teaching and research aspects of the department. He communicated his belief that a thorough understanding of anatomy was vital to the practice of medicine to generations of students. He was an inspired, and inspiring, teacher, erudite, precise, and not above acting the clown to get his point across.
In 1974 he made a major career change. He and Vera returned to the United Kingdom and he became a general practitioner. In general practice he could apply his belief in the practical importance of anatomy. He found life as a village GP fascinating and enriching. David and Vera’s life in the practice area brought them many new friends. He was a trainer in general practice for many years. He continued to teach anatomy part time at Nottingham, until he was forced to retire by his final illness
He leaves a wife, Vera; three children; and seven grandchildren.
A memorial service will take place at 11 am on 19 March at Kegworth Parish Church. [Christine Hoyte]
- Doctors’ vocation: true satisfaction comes from what you put inBMJ March 31, 2020, 368 m1272; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1272
- To maintain ethical medical practices, we must not underplay the vocational aspect of medicineBMJ March 31, 2020, 368 m1266; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1266
- Covid-19: healthcare staff in hotspot areas are prioritised as testing expandsBMJ March 31, 2020, 368 m1318; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1318
- Covid-19: Contact tracing requires ending the hostile environmentBMJ March 31, 2020, 368 m1320; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1320
- Why healthcare leadership should embrace quality improvementBMJ March 31, 2020, 368 m872; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m872