Judith and Peter Adams

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 21 December 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5866
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. Hamburg
  1. ns{at}

Judith Adams, eminent musculoskeletal radiologist, and her husband, Peter Adams, former head of Department of Medicine at the University of Manchester, died within eight days of one another

On 16 September 2017 Judith (“Judy”) and Peter Adams had their 45th wedding anniversary. They were both seriously ill, and they were both still very much in love with each other. They had met in the late 1960s in Cambridge, where he was a senior registrar at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and she a junior doctor. They fitted together perfectly, those who knew them best say.

“They were lovely people and a devoted couple,” says their longstanding friend Michael Davies, a semiretired former university colleague of Peter’s, who still practises medicine a couple of days each week.

From Cambridge to Manchester

After marrying in Cambridge in 1972, Judy and Peter Adams moved to Manchester to pursue their medical careers and to start a family. In 1973 Peter was named professor of medicine at the University of Manchester and in 1984 head of the Department of Medicine.

Judy joined the University of Manchester in 1976 and was named senior lecturer in 1979. Despite the time consuming demands of caring for her two young sons, which often meant rising at 4 am to finish reports or other professional duties, she became increasingly active in clinical research and was acquiring an international reputation as a leading musculoskeletal radiologist.

“She brought important and relevant clinical science to the discipline of radiology in the areas of osteoporosis, bone densitometry, and vertebral fracture assessment,” says Harry K Genant, professor emeritus of radiology, orthopaedic surgery, medicine, and epidemiology at the University of California in San Francisco. Genant first met Judy in 1981 at the 2nd International Bone Density Workshop in Zuos, Switzerland. They …

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