Dr Francis Adams

13 March 1796 - 26 February 1861
Popular Deeside doctor and classical scholar

Born in  Lumphanan, Francis Adams was educated in the village school and at Kings College, Aberdeen. After graduating MA (1813) at the age of 17, he moved to Edinburgh to study medicine as an extra-mural student. He was admitted to Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons in London (1815).

Frances took up practice in Banchory in 1819 where he remained, a popular family doctor, for 42 years. He was regarded as a good practitioner and skilful surgeon, regularly visiting the surgical wards of Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and having an extensive obstetric practice. Despite being offered the Chair of Greek at Aberdeen University, nothing could tempt him to leave the practice.

Adams combind his medical work with that of a classical scholar. He read 'almost every Greek work which has come down to us from antiquity, with the exception of the ecclesiastical writers.' His greatest work, Paulus Aegineta, is a piece of history, a description of the medical knowledge and therapy of the seventh century, handed down from Hippocrates, Galen and the other great Greek masters of medicine. To this he added a learned and interesting commentary in which he quotes from Galen, Pliny, Aetius, Oribasius, Rhazes and many other writers. When Francis had undergone his training, Hippocratic medicine was still being taught in Europe.

His first volume of Paulus was published in 1834. “Genuine Works of Hippocrates” followed in 1836 and “Works of Aretaeus in 1856.” 

He wrote on other literary and classical subjects, contributed to various reviews and wrote numerous articles for medical journals on surgical, obstetrical and medical conditions and one book , “The Construction of the Placenta.”  His translations of Greek medical books were used by medical students until the 1970s.

Academic honours
LL.D. ( Glasgow 1846) for his Paulus
Honorary MD (Aberdeen 1856) for his Aretaeus

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › pdf › jroyalcgprac00372-0017

image: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Biography prepared from the nomination made to the University of Aberdeen 525 Alumni project.

Dr Anne MacLeod

Author and poet, Anne Colleen MacLeod (born in Aberfeldy 1951) graduated MBChB (1975). MacLeod was a respected dermatologist for many years, but she is known to a different audience as a writer. As a medic, she was instrumental in ensuring the beneficial Medical Humanities component was within the curriculum of Aberdeen’s undergraduate medical degree.

MacLeod was Associate Specialist in Dermatology at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, for 25 years. She initially completed vocational training for General Practice. From July 2005, MacLeod worked as part-time Associate Specialist in Dermatology at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and retired from medical practice in 2011. Before retirement, she regularly worked with doctors in training in hospitals and General Practice in Inverness and Aberdeen.

In her demanding life as wife, mother, and doctor, MacLeod still found time to craft poetry and prose. Her debut novel "The Dark Ship" recalls the unspeakable tragedy of the sinking of the Iolaire in 1919. She continues to participate in workshops, encouraging people of all ages, whereby she shares her love of literature and encourages others to unleash their creativity.

Several of her short stories and poems have been widely published in literary magazines, including "Standing by Thistles" (1997; shortlisted for Saltire Award) and "The Blue Moon Book" (2004). MacLeod contributed to the International Oxford Radcliffe Medical Humanities Companion series from 2008–14. She has been among the Scottish Book Trust Live Literature Authors list for many years, leading workshops in writing and storytelling for children and adults across Scotland. From 2013, she has been a board member for Scotland’s Creative Writers’ Centre –– Moniack Mhor. A series of workshops on Memories of Place (September 2019–January 2020) was a collaborative project for Highland Hospice patients and staff from Wick to Portree. She served on the board of the Scottish Poetry Library for 2002–06.

Biography prepared from the nomination made to the University of Aberdeen 525 Alumni project.

Professor Francis Smith

Francis William Smith (born 1943) obtained his medical training at the University of Aberdeen, graduating in 1970. After residencies in medicine, orthopaedic surgery, and radiology, he completed his radiological training at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. He returned to Aberdeen in 1980, where he pioneered the clinical application of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) developed by Professor Mallard's Medical Physics department. Smith started the world’s first clinical trial of MRI in 1980 and the world’s first diagnostic MRI service at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in 1981. Between 1980–91, he worked in collaboration with a number of clinicians exploring the applications of MRI, being the first to show the potential of MRI to the examination of the abdomen and pelvis as well as for the study of pregnancy. He published the first clinical applications of MRI to musculoskeletal radiology, head and neck malignancy, liver and pancreatic disease, pelvic malignancy and pregnancy. He has over 250 publications in peer-reviewed Journals, 32 book chapters, and co-authored 5 textbooks.

In 1982, Smith was the inaugural President of the Society of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and in 1990 he received the Gold medal from the International Society for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Between 1984–91, he was Editor in Chief of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. In 1999, he was the recipient of the Barclay Medal and in 2009 was the Sir Godfrey Hounsfield Memorial lecturer from the British Institute of Radiology. He is currently the Clinical Director of Medserena Upright MRI Centre in London.

Smith has considerable experience of MR imaging of the spine and specialises in the application of upright MRI in patients following whiplash injury of the cervical spine and those with low back pain. These examinations are performed either standing or sitting upright during the examination, rather than lying down as is the common practice.

Between 1980–97, working as a Consultant in Nuclear Medicine, Smith also pioneered the use of Single Photon Emission Tomography (SPECT) for the measurement of regional cerebral blood flow performing the preclinical evaluation of the technetium labelled blood flow agent Hexamethylpropylene Amine Oxime, as well as publishing the earliest papers on its value in the assessment of patients with dementia. He performed some of the earliest work on the use of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) for the diagnosis and staging of malignant disease.

In addition to being a Consultant Radiologist specialising in Musculoskeletal Radiology, Smith was, an examiner for the Diploma in Sport & Exercise Medicine of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine from 1996–2018. From 2009–2012, and in 2016, he was Visiting Professor and external examiner in Sports Medicine for the University at the West Indies. From 1995–2015, he was one of 2 Club doctors for Dundee United Football Club and has a Sports Medicine practice in Aberdeen, catering to all sportsmen and women.

Biography prepared from the nomination made to the University of Aberdeen 525 Alumni project.

Prof Linda Holloway

Linda Holloway (née Brown: born 1940) graduated with MB ChB from the University of Aberdeen in 1964. Her awards included an undergraduate summer scholarship to study pathology in Sweden, a Nuffield travelling scholarship to Fiji, and the Matthews Duncan gold medal in obstetrics. Her first academic appointment was as a lecturer in the Department of Pathology at her alma mater. In 1970, following marriage to New Zealander, John Holloway (a fellow Aberdeen alumnus), nearly all of her career has been spent in New Zealand.

From 1970–95, Holloway was an Academic Pathologist and undertook original research into perinatal pathology. This significant work, studying the fetal and maternal circulation, shed light on the effect of placental separation before birth on mother and child. At Otago University, Holloway undertook research into the pathology of asthma and the causes of death in severe asthmatics, as well as being involved in international research into breast cancer. In addition, having developed expertise in diagnostic respiratory pathology, she provided a referral system to colleagues, and as Director of Laboratory Services made a significant contribution to the training of young pathologists.

In 1995, Holloway became the first woman to be Dean of Medicine in New Zealand, when she was appointed the Dean of the Wellington School of Medicine of the University of Otago. Its main Campus is in Dunedin, with others in Wellington and Christchurch; it offers degrees in a number of Health Science disciplines, including Medicine and Dentistry. Four years later, when Holloway took up the position as Assistant Vice-Chancellor (later renamed as Pro Vice-Chancellor), she became the most senior female academic in New Zealand. This position gave her responsibility of the whole of the Division of Health Sciences on all three campuses, as an administrative unit, larger than each of several New Zealand Universities. While holding this position, she was responsible for the establishment of an undergraduate degree in Radiation Therapy in Wellington, the first Otago degree to be taught entirely out of Dunedin. She also initiated the development of Inter-Professional Education, where groups of students from different clinical disciplines study together, thus forging the collegial links that are essential to clinical practice.

Prof Holloway has held and been recognised for a number of key contributions to health in New Zealand. The first was as the pathologist medical adviser to what became known as the Cartwright Inquiry, led by judge Silvia Cartwright. This inquiry, into the treatment of women suffering from cervical cancer at National Women’s Hospital in Auckland, was a watershed moment in patient rights, not only in New Zealand but globally resulting in the establishment of independent ethics committees focused on protecting patients’ rights.

Later in her career, Holloway was appointed chair of the National Health Committee, that was set up in law as an interdisciplinary committee to provide independent advice to the government on health matters. During her tenure on the committee, reports were produced on significant topics, such as the social determinants of health and health care of people living with disability. Holloway retired from full-time service in 2007 but has continued with a number of commitments.

Biography prepared from the nomination made to the University of Aberdeen 525 Alumni project.

Dr Jeannie MacLeod

1874 – 1902

Born in Edinburgh, Jeannie MacLeod was educated at Aberdeen High School for Girls. In 1902, she became the second female graduate from the University of Aberdeen’s Medical School. Prior to this, she proved herself to be exceedingly academically gifted when studying for the St Andrews LLA (Ladies Licentiate in Arts) as she attained honours in all subjects.

Upon completing her education in 1892, MacLeod taught French at her alma mater for a year before moving to the Miller Institution in Thurso to teach French and German. In 1897, MacLeod enrolled at the Medical School in Aberdeen. Here, MacLeod continued to demonstrate her academic prowess by winning many prizes and awards. She also took an active role in several extracurricular activities; she was the first president of the Women’s Medical Society.

It is hard to imagine the uphill struggle MacLeod faced when she embarked upon her goal of becoming a doctor in the Victorian era. Not only did she achieve her ambition during a time when little was expected from women but her outstanding academic record, and her dedication to her supplementary pursuits, demonstrates the extent of her success. This is particularly impressive as MacLeod managed to excel in an environment that was often hostile as she faced opposition from her male colleagues. Although MacLeod achieved much academically, she was praised by her teachers for her strong and modest character, as well as her talent.

Upon graduating from medical school, MacLeod began working as a House Officer in the Royal Aberdeen Hospital for Sick Children. She excelled in anaesthesia studies at university and it is likely that she was the sole anaesthetist for several emergency operations within days of qualifying. The lack of student support and professional development is unthinkable from the perspective of a contemporary student. Sadly, one week after she began her career as a doctor, Jeannie MacLeod committed suicide at the age of 28 years; the circumstances surrounding MacLeod’s death are uncertain. There was an outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) in the days before MacLeod’s death, which claimed the lives of many children. It is possible that these tragic events may have impacted MacLeod’s mental health.

MacLeod was a pioneer who helped pave the way for future women doctors; her remarkable talent helped set a precedent not only of equality, but for how successful women can be. It is also important to remember that while MacLeod’s achievements contributed to positive changes in society, the pressure she felt must have been considerable. Furthermore, MacLeod’s tragic death shines a light on the ever-present issue of mental illness and suicide in doctors and medical students. The university archive boasts several of MacLeod’s objects, such as her spectacles and pocket watch, as well as her academic medals. Three annual prizes in her name have been established within the Medical School and the university has recently commissioned a portrait by Richard Greaves to honour her memory.

Medal for Midwifery 1901-2 (ABDUA:13778);
Medal for Practice of Medicine (ABDUA:13779);
Medal for Systematic Zoology 1897-8 – (ABDUA:13780);
Medal for Midwifery 1901-2 (ABDUA:13781);
Sampler Jeannie made at the age of 10 (ABDUA:85288);
Pocket watch (ABDUA:85289);
Spectacles (ABDUA:85290);
Syringe (ABDUA:85291);
Silver Inkwell (ABDUA:85292);
Calling card box (ABDUA:85293).

Biography prepared from the nomination made to the University of Aberdeen 525 Alumni project.