Intended for healthcare professionals


Desmond Laurence

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 08 August 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5039
  1. Mike Laurence

As author of Clinical Pharmacology, Desmond Laurence was master of the readable textbook, known and enjoyed by thousands of medical students and doctors worldwide. First published in 1960, the book is now in its 12th edition. Laurence himself prepared eight editions (latterly with Peter Bennett).

His career began at the end of the second world war, when, after military service in Japan, he returned to St Thomas’ Hospital as a medical registrar and then became lecturer in therapeutics. In 1954 he moved to UCL, where he remained for the rest of his career. He became professor of pharmacology and therapeutics in 1964 and retired in 1984.

Early on he recognised and developed …

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