Intended for healthcare professionals


Iain MacLaren: surgeon, examiner, and vice president of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 28 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6743
  1. Penny Warren
  1. London, UK

In 1956 Iain MacLaren said he agreed to get his chest x rayed to please his GP father. He was working as a surgical registrar at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh at the time and had to step down when he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Fortunately, he was in the right place. He became an early recipient of John Crofton’s triple drug approach—the “Edinburgh method,” which transformed the treatment of the disease—and he made a full recovery.

Proud Scot and surgeon

MacLaren was born in Edinburgh in 1927 to Gaelic speaking parents. He was proud of his heritage and in 1970 became chairman of Clan MacLaren. At the age of nine he learnt to play the pipes and went on to judge piping. A medical colleague recalled how he liked to play the pipes at key events, often afterwards offering guests a fine single malt whisky. …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription