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James Hunter Lawrie

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 04 May 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k1940
  1. Hugh Morton

Pioneering paediatric surgeon James Hunter Lawrie made a major contribution to the development of surgery and to medical education in Africa, the Middle East, and Malaysia. Yet medicine was not his first choice of career; after schooling in Glasgow, he trained at Glasgow Navigation College before serving in the Merchant Navy, with Blue Funnel Line, during the second world war. Thereafter he studied medicine at Glasgow University and graduated in 1953.

After house officer posts, Lawrie spent two years as a surgical intern in Richmond, Virginia, USA, before returning to Glasgow, where he became house surgeon to Charles (later Sir Charles) Illingworth, professor of surgery, and gained wide experience in Illingworth’s department. Over the years, Illingworth’s unit was to provide the seedbed for over a score of surgeons who later became professors of surgery. Lawrie also spent time at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow. A close friendship with Patrick (later Sir Patrick) Forrest, who was working in Illingworth’s unit, where the professor had a personal interest in peptic ulcer, led to a move to the Welsh National School of …

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