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Biographical entry McCaul, Ian Reay (1916 - 1989)

MRCS and FRCS 1963; MB ChB Glasgow 1941; FRFPS Glas 1949; FRCS RCPS Glas 1962.

16 December 1989


Ian Reay McCaul was born in 1916 and after his early education entered Glasgow University, qualifying in 1941. After early hospital appointments he passed the Fellowship of the Royal Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow eight years after qualifying and undertook specialist training in neurosurgery under Sir Wylie McKissock at the National Hospital, Queen Square, and at Atkinson Morley's Hospital. He obtained his first consultant post at the Brook Hospital, Woolwich, and in 1952 was invited to establish a neurosurgical department at the Whittington Hospital. In addition to the administrative work involved in developing a purpose built department he maintained his research interests, particularly in the stereotactic surgery of Parkinson's disease and techniques for controlling pain. He continued to work at the Whittington Hospital until 1976 when he moved to the Royal Free Hospital until his retirement in 1981.

After his retirement he remained an active member of the Society of British Neurological Surgeons. Apart from his profound interest in neurosurgery he was also a fly fisherman but his humanity was such that he used barbless hooks and returned the fish to the water unharmed. He died peacefully in his sleep on 16 December 1989 while holidaying in Australia and is survived by his wife Elsie and their three sons, John, Tom and Colin.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1990, 300, 1073].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England