1927 – 2018
Alasdair Iain Macdougall was a consultant physician and nephrologist at Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow. Born in Lanarkshire and brought up in Glasgow he was awarded a bursary for Glasgow University, where he gained an intercalated BSc (with first class honours) in Physiology before graduating MBChB in 1950.
Alasdair’s house posts were in the Professorial Units at Glasgow’s Western Infirmary. He then undertook National Service in the Royal Navy, based in Londonderry. He returned to the Western Infirmary in 1954, working in the Clinical Chemotherapy Research Unit, where he became fascinated by the properties of aspirin. His belief in the therapeutic potential of aspirin continued throughout his career.
In 1958 Alasdair moved to Stobhill Hospital, where he spent the rest of his career. During the 1960s he became increasingly committed to nephrology. In 1967 he was made a Consultant Physician, with responsibilities in both general and renal medicine. In addition to a hospital haemodialysis centre, he set up a flourishing home dialysis programme, offering both home haemodialysis and, later, peritoneal dialysis. With home haemodialysis patients spread throughout the West of Scotland, he contributed to the epidemiological work which unmasked aluminium as the cause of dialysis dementia. He was a founder member of the European Dialysis and Transplant Association. He retired in 1992, but never lost interest in clinical medicine; to keep up with all the latest developments he subscribed to the Lancet until his death 26 years later.
Alasdair was unfailingly gentlemanly. His understated manner belied his sharp intelligence and implacable determination. He was a faithful and steadfast church elder. Sadly widowed by the death of Mary, his wife and lifelong companion, he is survived by two daughters and a son (also a nephrologist).
Alastair died suddenly on 24 August 2018.