- Birth*: Dr Matthew Wilkinson FRCP Edin was born on 11 April 1926 at Bishop Auckland, England, .1
- Death*: He died on 24 November 2011 at Scotland, , at age 85.1
- Obituary: The obituary of Dr Matthew Wilkinson FRCP Edin was was published in 2012. Dr Matthew Wilkinson, FRCP Edin
Designatory Letters: MB Camb 1949, MD Camb 1956, MRCP Edin 1969, FRCP Lond 1972, FRCP Edin 1974
Dr Matthew Wilkinson was born and educated in Bishop Auckland but much of his schooling was at home because he suffered from osteomyelitis before there was a cure. He went to Cambridge University at seventeen , developing a life-long love of the place and followed this with the clinical years at St Bartholomews. Medicine became his abiding passion. After his house jobs he worked in Carshalton and then Hammersmith Hospitals before moving to San Francisco on a Fulbright Scholarship. He returned to Hammersmith before working in Charing Cross and the Royal Northern Hospitals.
In 1963 he became consultant physician in Bridge of Earn Hospital and Perth Royal Infirmary later transferring to Dundee Royal Infirmary and then Ninewells Hospital. Despite preferring general medicine, he set up and developed the specialist rheumatology service in Tayside and showed remarkable foresight in cautioning against the use of potent new anti-rheumatic drugs until their adverse effects were more fully appreciated. He was very much an “old style” consultant, meticulous and forthright. He also helped to staff the then fledgling coronary care unit at Ninewells and was chairman of the Division of Medicine during a period of huge change. GPs particularly appreciated his clear diagnoses and guidance on treatment.
Matt was an enthusiastic and much appreciated clinical teacher favouring a didactic approach and encouraging students to accompany patients to investigations such as barium enema so they would better appreciate patients’ viewpoints.
He had numerous, freely expressed medical pet hates, ripping the adverts out of journals, ruthlessly weeding out voluminous case notes and cautioning against ever expanding hospital car parks. Administrative dictats likewise attracted his disdain.
Outside medicine, he was a generous host and keen to show his prowess as a performer of old popular songs on his baby grand piano, albeit to the accompaniment of a monotone, off-key whistle and foot stomping never in time with the music. Matt was mechanically minded and good with his hands and would have a go at repairing almost anything. He was an enthusiastic bird watcher and keen gardener but regularly vented his spleen on the whitefly invading his greenhouse and the grey squirrels attempting to colonise his garden.
After retirement he and his wife Barbara travelled widely in America, Europe and the Middle East, and leading to his family asking “and to which war zone are you going this time?”
Matt first realised he had Parkinson’s disease when he fell coming up out of a cistern in Israel while on holiday. His balance was to become severely affected but he braved the illness, complicated by his fixed hip, failing knees and the decline of old age, with typical stoicism and Barbara’s unflagging support.
Matt is survived by Barbara, their children Claire, Andrew and Hilary and by grandson Paul. His sister Stella and brother Donald predeceased him.1
- (Awarded to) DGA Memorial Award*: Dr Matthew Wilkinson FRCP Edin was awarded the The Douglas Adamson Memorial Award in 1991 at Dundee, Angus, Scotland, . DR MATTHEW WILKINSON, consultant physican (general medicine and rheumatology), Tayside Health Board, and honorary senior lecturer in medicine at Dundee University, has been awarded the 1991 Douglas G. Adamson Memorial Prize in recognition of his contribution to patient care in Tayside.
Dr Wilkinson was educated at Cambridge University and St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical School, London, graduating MB BChir from Cambridge in 1949 and MD in 1956.
In 1972 he was elected a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and, in 1984 a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.
After junior posts in St Bartholomew's Hospital, St Helier Hospital and Hammersmith Hospital, he was granted a Fulbright Travel Scholarship and undertook research for one year at the University of California Hospital in San Francisco.
He then returned to further posts at Hammer smith and St Bartholomew's Hospitals before moving to Scotland in 1964.
In that year he was appointed consultant physician (general medicine and rheumatology) with his main base at Bridge of Earn Hospital and remained there until 1972, when he moved to Dundee Royal Infirmary.
In 1974 he moved his base to the new Ninewells Hospital and Medical School. He retired from practice in April 1991.
His area of particular interest has been rheumatology and, apart from providing specialist patient care, he has carried out research and written textbooks on this.2
- [S142] https://www.rcpe.ac.uk/obituary/dr-matthew-wilkinson-frcp-edin-0 [July 2021].
- [S43] DGA Memorial Award Adamson family personal archives [June 2021].
Dr Matthew Wilkinson FRCP Edin1
M, #17756, b. 11 April 1926, d. 24 November 2011
Last Edited: 16 Oct 2022