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Biographical entry Parkin, Alfred (1879 - 1933)

MRCS 16 October 1902; FRCS 9 June 1904; MB BS Durham 1901; MD 1904; LRCP 1902; MRCP 1908; FRCP 1932.

13 May 1879
Wreckenton, County Durham
8 February 1933


The fifth son and sixth child of George Parkin of Gateshead, jeweller, and Jane Owens, his wife, he was born in Wreckenton, Co Durham on 13 May 1879. He was educated at the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and at the Durham University College of Medicine. He graduated with first-class honours after gaining the Tulloch scholarship in 1898, and the Charlton and the Gibb scholarships in 1901. He then studied in Berlin and Vienna, after serving as house physician to Sir Thomas Oliver, MD, at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and as house surgeon to Rutherford Morison. He acted as assistant to W Mearns, MD Aberdeen, of Gateshead, and became resident medical officer to the Newcastle Dispensary, which was then situated in Nelson Street. He was elected a surgical registrar at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, but soon turned his attention to medicine and in 1908 was elected assistant physician to the Infirmary, afterwards becoming physician. At the University of Durham College of Medicine he was in succession assistant demonstrator of anatomy, assistant demonstrator of physiology, demonstrator of pathology, and lecturer in therapeutics.

He married Elizabeth Fenwick on 29 April 1914, who survived him. There were no children. He died suddenly of a thrombosis of the coronary artery on 8 February 1933, and was buried in Jesmond old cemetery. Parkin was a great clinical teacher of medicine and was possessed of a logical mind and much skill in the understanding of the mentality of his patients. He wrote but little.

Caisson disease. Northumb Dur med J 1905, 13, 96. Thesis for the M.D.; it was awarded the gold medal and was based on observations made during the building of the King Edward VII Bridge at Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Ambroise Paré. Univ Durh Coll Med Gaz 1911-12, 12, 19.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Newc med J 1933, 13, 1, with portrait; Lancet, 1933, 1, 389, with portrait; Brit med J 1933, 1, 293, with portrait; information given by Mrs Parkin].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England