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Ian McKim Thompson: an iconoclastic leader who helped to change the BMA

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 28 October 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6165
  1. Norman Ellis

Although Ian McKim Thompson was born in Knutsford, Cheshire, he always identified with Birmingham and the West Midlands. His father was a bank manager and his mother a medical graduate of Edinburgh (1927). His education at Epsom College with its “medical sixth form” took him to Birmingham medical school where he met his future wife (Jane Richards), a fellow student. His two younger brothers followed him at Epsom College and Birmingham medical school; Don is a GP in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, and Alistair a retired consultant orthopaedic spine surgeon. Ian’s son, Peter, is also a consultant orthopaedic surgeon.

After qualifying Ian pursued a career in pathology, which included teaching at Birmingham University. He was a house officer at Birmingham General Hospital. He was the consultant pathologist to the Birmingham Coroner from 1966 to 1997. While working as a senior registrar in Birmingham, a growing interest and commitment to medicopolitics—fuelled by his outrage …

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