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John Patrick Acton Weaver

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 25 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:d7985
  1. R H MacDougall

John Patrick Acton Weaver came to Scotland to join Professor Sir Donald Douglas’ surgical academic team in the University of St Andrews at Dundee in 1967. He gave outstanding service to that flourishing surgical unit, to the university, and to the health service. This was particularly so when the surgical unit moved to the new Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, and during the period when Sir Donald Douglas was president of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Patrick ran the unit. His surgical interests evolved into urology, and he subsequently became NHS consultant urological surgeon in 1976, moving back to Dundee Royal Infirmary. After retiring in 1992 he continued to practise. He worked as locum consultant in England, Scotland, and Zimbabwe, and he lectured and worked with the Egyptian army medical corps.

Patrick Weaver was brought up in Oxford, where his father, John Weaver, an eminent historian, became president of Trinity College. Patrick was brought up in the college, with childhood memories of playing in the rafters of the head of college’s residence. He achieved a first class honours degree in physiology at Oxford and proceeded to Guy’s Hospital for clinical training. He met his future wife at Guy’s Hospital, where she trained as a nurse. His account of being examined for higher degrees in Oxford in these days when full formal academic dress was required even in the dissecting room was remarkable.

After his medical training he served with the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) and was medical officer to the Ghurkhas and Kings Own Royal Regiment 4th of Foot Hong Kong.

He came to Dundee as senior lecturer with Sir Donald Douglas in 1967 and joined a group of surgeons working in that famous surgical unit. His main areas of research were in properties of blood flow and subsequently in urology and paediatric urology. He also pioneered innovative surgical techniques for the treatment of incontinence. As NHS consultant urological surgeon in Tayside, he gave great service to that community.

He was an examiner for the Edinburgh College of Surgeons and became president of the 1921 Surgical Club.

Patrick Weaver is remembered by many as an outstanding teacher and trainer and particularly one who gave confidence and support to young surgeons in the early part of their careers. He often gave struggling junior staff enormous help and turned round many careers that struggled to withstand the challenges in the health service. He had a great capacity for friendship and had an extremely wide knowledge of affairs and subjects well outside surgery and medicine.

In retirement he remained in Dundee where gardening, furniture restoration, art, and opera were his main interests.

He is survived by his wife and three children.


Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7985


  • Former surgeon Dundee, and senior lecturer University of St Andrews and University of Dundee (b 1927; q Oxford, 1954; MA, BSc, BMBCh, DM MCh, FRCS England and Edinburgh), died from hepatocellular carcinoma on 10 July 2011.

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