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Roderick MacLeod

BMJ 2023; 380 doi: (Published 01 February 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;380:p215
  1. James Douglas

Roderick MacLeod (“Roddy”) was an army doctor and then a singlehanded GP in Ballachulish and Glen Coe for 25 years. He followed in the steps of Lachlan Grant in 1900 and then William MacKenzie from 1945. Together they provided a century of service to the local population. MacLeod published an important historical and personal reflection of his illustrious predecessor in Dr Lachlan Grant of Ballachulish. His Life and Times. His book subtitle of Grant’s life was “Talent and Tenacity,” which also sums up Roddy’s own life. He was, “indeed,” as he would say in conversation, the archetypal singlehanded Highland GP. He always had a quick wit with a twinkle in his eye to deliver his strong political convictions and observations of medical life.

Roderick MacLeod was born on the Isle of Skye to Roderick and Chirsty MacLeod (née Morrison). His father worked as a joiner and crofter. Young Roddy attended Portree High School. He had four siblings and his early life on the remote croft at Portnalong was before the opening of the Skye bridge. He was steeped in the values of traditional island culture.

The second world war had just finished, so military service and respect for the Union was revered. He spoke Gaelic in the family, did well at school, and was the …

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