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Alan Robert Somner

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 19 May 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2663
  1. Ian Campbell

Alan Robert Somner was educated at the Edinburgh Academy and qualified in 1946 at the University of Edinburgh Medical School. After house jobs at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary he did national service with the Royal Army Medical Corps, serving in Austria with the Northamptonshire Regiment. His lifelong interest in tuberculosis (TB) began when working with Professor Cameron at Southfields Sanatorium. His first publication was on the treatment of 26 patients with tuberculous meningitis, of whom, in those days before isoniazid, 13 died. It formed the basis of his MD thesis in 1951. His interest in TB developed further while senior registrar to Sir John Crofton, Ian Grant, Jimmy Williamson, and Norman Horne, the team of Edinburgh physicians who did so much in the 1950s and 60s to establish the principles of drug treatment of TB, which led to the curative regimen of 18 months of PAS and isoniazid, supplemented by streptomycin for the …

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