Dr David Morgan (OK 1968) died April 6, 2019
David Morgan (1968)
David’s life might be described as a triumph over several elements of adversity. Apart from forging lasting friendships, he did not regard his time at Kings as being altogether happy. He lost his father through heart disease during his school years and whilst he was academically competent, he came away with the notion of not being good enough. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
He wanted to be a doctor for as long as anyone could remember and left school at a time when an A level in Physics was pre-requisite for a place at medical school, yet David and physics were not well matched. He achieved a place at Glasgow to read dentistry, which was not his desire, but he saw it as an albeit slim chance of attaining his goal. He was one of only two or three to be adjudged good enough convert to medicine after the first year.
Following qualification and whilst in Scotland, he spent his time in hospital medicine specialising in renal medicine and then in paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology. Later, as was his way, he allowed his career to be guided by the career of his first wife, a hospital doctor, which saw him as a general practitioner in Edinburgh, then Liverpool and finally settling in Birmingham, where he came senior partner of his practice. He gained an MD and was made a Fellow of 3 Royal Colleges (the Colleges of Physicians of London and of Glasgow, and of General Practitioners), largely due to his clinical acumen.
His practice record and his list of achievements are impressive. He was a prime mover in establishing the Department of General Practice at Liverpool University, where he became a lecturer; he was a part time medical officer in the Paediatric A&E Department at Alder Hey Hospital; he was a senior lecturer at Birmingham University. He later became a GP trainer and an undergraduate tutor and honorary senior clinical lecturer at Birmingham University. He was elected Provost of the West Midlands Faculty of the RCGP from 2011-14.
All that is no more than a sample of his involvements, embedded within which was the delivery of a number of papers and contributions to medical texts. As Faculty Research Adviser in Birmingham, he organised an annual research symposium and an annual prize for the best contribution was created in his honour – “The David Morgan Prize”, the award of which survives him.
Yet, what set David apart were qualities such as his humility and compassion. Until recently, few of his friends knew the detail and enormity of the distinction of his career, although many others became aware – and indeed benefited from – the time and care which he lavished on the development of others. He was a first-class doctor and many will attest to his careful and thoughtful analysis of their aliments and recovery plans. Everything he did was laced with an intriguing and mischievous sense of humour; many would say that he never lost the schoolboy sense of humour going back to his days at King’s. It has to be said that many of his jokes were simply, but deliciously awful!
David suffered a heart attack in his early 40s from which he developed a quiet determination not to succumb as had his father and other family members and in which he succeeded to some large extent with the joint help of his unwavering Christian faith and of Joy, his second wife, with whom he spent several idyllic years in a marriage which was blessed. He loved life; he loved his family – Joy, his daughter Iona, a junior doctor in Glasgow, his son Alasdair, a senior consultant with EY, his step- daughter, Béa and his grandchildren. He was a good and loyal friend to many.
His lifetime passions were music and the arts and a strong affinity for the highlands and islands of Scotland. He was an enthusiastic and award-winning photographer.
Not bad for someone who considered himself not good enough!
A well-attended memorial service for David was held on 6 July 2019, at St Philip’s Cathedral, Birmingham, conducted by the dean of the cathedral.