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Donald Maxwell Ellis

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 10 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5229
  1. Jane Ellis

Donald Maxwell Ellis (“Don”) entered medical school at Queen’s University Belfast at the age of 17. He qualified in 1953, having divided his time carefully between his medical studies and representing Queens on the rugby field. He completed his house year at Banbridge Hospital, where he continued to play rugby for the local club.

He worked as an assistant GP in Banbridge and then moved to Wolverhampton for another assistant post. In 1959 he moved to Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, to become a GP partner. He continued as a partner until 1994. He particularly enjoyed practising as a family doctor in the true sense, enjoying both home births and end of life care, as well as any vicissitudes that his patients brought to him in between. His care and compassion, along with his sense of humour, were hugely appreciated by his patients.

He was instrumental in establishing and running the GP deputising service in Mansfield as he recognised its benefits for avoiding GP burnout. His support of his colleagues in their careers was much appreciated over the years, as was his injection of fun into the job.

He then worked as a full time locum GP for seven years, working in most of the practices in and around Mansfield. After he finally hung up his stethoscope, he enjoyed travelling extensively around the UK and Europe with Anne, his wife of 57 years.

His many interests included watching horse racing, golf, and swimming. The latter two kept him fit into his mid-80s when he sadly became bedbound and relied on the devoted care of Anne, until he died peacefully at home.

He leaves Anne, three children (one of whom is a general practitioner), and five grandchildren.

General practitioner (b 1930; q Queen’s University Belfast 1953), died from old age on 25 July 2017

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