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Dr John Strong

Physician and lecturer;

Born: February 18, 1915; Died December 15, 2012.

Dr John Strong, who has died aged 97, was an eminent physician and lecturer who held various international medical posts. He served as Professor of Medicine at Edinburgh University and as President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and was awarded a military MBE and mentioned in dispatches during the Second World War for his dedication to duty while under severe conditions.

John Anderson Strong was born in Ireland and educated at Monkton Coombe School in Bath. He studied medicine at Trinity College, Dublin, and joined the Royal Army Medical Corps on the outbreak of the Second World War. He served in the UK and the Far East. During intense fighting in Assam, Dr Strong created two field hospitals and commanded a casualty clearing station. He was demobbed with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

Dr Strong decided to pursue an academic career rather than practice and was appointed senior lecturer at Edinburgh University in 1949, also holding the post of honorary consulting physician at the city's Western General Hospital. He held various posts in medical administration during the 1960s – notably chairman of the Scottish Health Education Co-ordinating Committee and with the Medical Research Council. In 1966 he was appointed to the chair of medicine at the University of Edinburgh and served as secretary to the Clinical Endocrinology Research Council.

He wrote extensively in textbooks on subjects ranging from the hormonal control of cancer to obesity. When he retired in 1980 he was appointed Professor Emeritus.

In the medical profession in Scotland he is respected for the years he served on the Lothian Health Board and as President of the Royal Society in its tercentenary year in 1981. He hosted a visit by the Queen to mark the occasion and demonstrated a keen foresight in campaigning for the Queen Mother Conference Centre which was opened in the mid-1990s.

Throughout his life he was a keen athlete. At school he rowed and became a keen angler and stalker in Invernessshire. He was also a member of Muirfield.

Apart from his presidency of the Royal College in Edinburgh, Dr Strong, a distinguished and courteous man, was a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

He married Moira Heaney, who predeceased him. He is survived by one son and two daughters.

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