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Marcia Wilkinson

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 05 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1349
  1. E Anne MacGregor, honorary professor, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry
  1. anne.macgregor{at}

Headache specialist who led the world’s first centre for patients with acute migraine

Born in Yorkshire into an army family, Marcia Wilkinson studied medicine at Oxford. After qualifying she became house physician to the neurologist Lord Brain, who played an important part in the rest of her career. Her first publication, in 1947, on the surgical release of carpal tunnel syndrome, was coauthored with Lord Brain and is considered by many to be a landmark paper on the subject.1

In 1949, she spent 10 months as a full time Nuffield research fellow in the Bernhard Baron Institute of Pathology at the London Hospital, studying cervical spondylosis. This became the subject of her DM thesis as well as of further papers and books.2 3 4

Marcia completed her neurological training under Lord Brain at the Royal London Hospital and took up her first consultant post in 1953 at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in London, where she worked until 1984. In 1957, she was appointed consultant neurologist at Hackney Hospital in east London.

In 1963, Marcia became …

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