Alan Stevens: diagnostic histopathologist and author of prizewinning textbooksBMJ 2019; 365 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l4172 (Published 13 June 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l4172
- Rebecca Wallersteiner
- London, UK
Alan Stevens (called “Steve” by his friends and colleagues) was born in Chesterfield to Ivy (a milliner) and Herman (an accountant). He soon shone at Brampton Board Primary School before moving up to Chesterfield Grammar School. He developed ambitions to become a doctor, although he was apprehensive about the prospect of leaving his home and girlfriend (Chris).
His Chesterfield roots were worn with great pride throughout his life, with “conspicuous northernness” a trademark. He would never be going to use the bathroom, rather he would be “off to have a rubdown with an oily rag,” he never invited anyone to help themselves, rather he said “fill your boots.”
Supported by his family he gained a place at medical school and started studies at Guy’s Hospital, London, in 1960. Things did not go smoothly. The death of his father left him the man of the family. A bout of pneumonia followed, and he resolved to give up his medical training and return home. Encouraged by his mother and Chris, however, he decided to continue. Alan and Chris married in 1963. They settled in South Woodford, north east London, before Alan had fully qualified as a doctor, and their long and happy …