Intended for healthcare professionals


Michael Bernard Matthews

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 01 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5151
  1. Philippa Matthews

Michael Bernard Matthews—variously known as Ginger, Mick, MBM, and Mike—took an egalitarian and inclusive approach to all he worked with. He was patient centred long before it was a phrase and was loved for his gentle humour, compassion, and skills in communication and clinical examination.

Mike was born to Charles and Gertrude Matthews in Broadstairs, Kent, the youngest of three boys. After attending Marlborough College he gained an exhibition to Trinity Hall, Cambridge, then upgraded to a scholarship in 1940. His clinical training was at St Thomas’ during the war, and there were frequent bombings, sometimes by buzz bombs (or doodlebugs). It was known that when the buzzing of the motor stopped, the bomb would then fall and explode on impact. On one occasion Mike and his colleagues were playing golf in an evacuated ward at the top of the hospital, chipping a ball from one end of the ward into an open fireplace at the other end. They heard a buzz bomb, which subsequently …

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