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John Andrew Carron Brown

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 17 October 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2135
  1. Richard Warren

    John Carron Brown was known affectionately by his Norwich colleagues as JCB. After qualification and completion of positions as house surgeon at the Middlesex Hospital, John served as ship’s surgeon with the Royal Mail Shipping Company before, in 1952, becoming house physician at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. His general surgical training continued through St John and Elizabeth’s Hospitals and Redhill and Reigate Hospital before returning to the Middlesex Hospital and obtaining his FRCS.

    JCB trained as an obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Chelsea Hospital for Women, the Middlesex Hospital, and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. He was appointed as a consultant in Norwich in 1963.

    John led a busy life in clinical practice and was instrumental in the development of local maternity and gynaecological services. He specialised in gynaecological malignancy and received tertiary referrals from across East Anglia. He was a great supporter of Cromer and District Cottage Hospital and held weekly clinics and operating sessions until he retired in 1990.

    John was a superb clinician and a great surgeon, and he had a giant personality. He was a great teacher of medical students, midwives, and doctors. His enthusiasm and encouraging approach led to many trainees following careers in obstetrics and gynaecology, careers which he subsequently followed and supported. He delighted in the success of those following after him. He was a great clinical leader, a tremendous supporter of fellow professionals, particularly midwives and physiotherapists, and for many, both a mentor and fine role model.

    In East Anglia he was a member of the regional medical advisory council for eight years and its chair for two years. He was also chairman of the Norfolk and Norwich Staff Committee and the hospital planning committee. In addition to this, he was representative on the East Anglian Regional Health Board and was the regional lead for the confidential enquiry into maternal deaths.

    John undertook a significant amount of committee work and was an examiner for the Universities of Cambridge and Birmingham as well as for the Central Midwives’ Board. He was elected and served as member’s representative on the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ council for six years and served on the its finance and executive and the hospital recognition committees. He examined for the royal college’s diploma and membership and became the royal college’s representative on the Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine and the Physiotherapy Board. In recognition of all his work and support, in 1995, he was awarded an honorary fellowship of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists.

    Throughout his schooldays at Oundle and during his medical school training he played cricket, tennis, and soccer. He captained Middlesex Hospital at cricket. He started playing golf at an early age and played off a reasonable handicap until a few years before his death. He was a good shot, enjoyed game shooting, and took up fly fishing in retirement. More sedentary pursuits were found in the study of history, and he became particularly knowledgeable on the Napoleonic era and the Indian Empire. Gardening was an abiding passion, particularly the cultivation of roses.

    He leaves a widow, Sue; five daughters and one son; and 16 grandchildren.


    Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2135


    • Former consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Norwich (b 1925; q Middlesex Hospital, London, 1949; FRCOG, FRCS), d 27 May 2008.

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