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David Gardner-Medwin

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 16 September 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5322
  1. Anne Gulland, London
  1. agulland{at}

Pioneered multidisciplinary team working for children with muscular dystrophy

David Gardner-Medwin, a paediatric neurologist, had broad interests outside medicine, but during his career he focused on the treatment and care of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a degenerative disease affecting boys. Despite advances there is still no cure for the disease, but when Gardner-Medwin—or DGM as he was known to his colleagues—first started working in this specialism in the 1960s, patients were not expected to live beyond their early teenage years.

His interest in the disease began when he was appointed a Medical Research Council research fellow under Professor John (now Lord) Walton in Newcastle, working on the early genetic associations of DMD. As a researcher he spent a long time with the families of children with the disease and learnt a great deal about the problems they faced. After a stint in the United States as a Harkness fellow, Gardner-Medwin was appointed consultant paediatric neurologist.

Because of his early contact with the children’s families, Gardner-Medwin realised the importance of a multidisciplinary team long before the phrase became fashionable. Professor Kate Bushby, a colleague of Gardner-Medwin’s and now …

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