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Biographical entry Dick, Alan MacDonald (1884 - 1970)

CBE 1936; MRCS 1909; FRCS 1910; MB ChB Edinburgh 1906.

30 July 1884
20 March 1970
ENT surgeon and Ophthalmic surgeon


Alan Dick was born on 30 July 1884, the son of Dr James Dick, and was educated at St Bees School and Edinburgh Medical School, from whence he qualified with honours in 1906. After qualification he spent three years in resident appointments in Edinburgh. In 1909 he passed into the Indian Medical Service by examination and took the Fellowship the following year. During his early years in the military department he saw active service in the Cachin Hills in North-East India; later in the Mesopotamian campaign of the first world war he served with distinction, gaining three mentions in dispatches, a brevet majority and the CBE.

His civil service was spent in the capital of the Punjab, Lahore, where for the greater part of twenty years he was Professor of Ophthalmology at King Edward Medical College, and was widely known as a skilful surgeon. During those years his department included that of ear, nose and throat, and he practised in these fields long after other Indian universities had subdivided them. In his later years he became the Principal of King Edward Medical College, and in 1936 was appointed CBE.

In 1939 Dick was promoted Brevet-Colonel and retired from the active list but in 1941 he was re-employed with the rank of Brigadier as consultant in ear, nose and throat diseases to the Southern Command India 1942-44. During 1944-48 he held the post of chief medical officer to the State of Bahawalput. When Dick left India he practised for some years in Natal as an ophthalmologist, before retiring to England.

He was a member of the BMA for over 50 years, and was a representative at the annual meeting in 1933 and President of the Punjab Branch in 1935-36.

Brigadier Dick died peacefully in the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, on 20 March 1970; he was survived by his wife and by their son and daughter.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1970, 2, 55].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England