William Kinnear Stewart arrow_drop_down

MB ChB St Andrews(1948) MRCP(1953) MRCP Ed(1966) FRCP Ed(1970) MD(1972) FRCP(1974) PhD Dundee(1980)

28 April 1926 – 23 February 2014

William Kinnear Stewart (‘Bill’) was born in Dundee and practised there as a consultant physician for most of his professional life. His father, also William Kinnear Stewart, was a master mariner and his mother, Williamina Margaret née Smith, was the daughter of John William Smith, a sailor. After attending Morgan Academy in Dundee, he studied medicine at St Andrews University and the Dundee Royal Infirmary, qualifying MB ChB in 1948.

After a year as a house officer at the Royal Infirmary, he joined the Royal Navy to do his National Service, returning to St Andrews in 1951 to become a lecturer in pathology. Three years later he was appointed registrar in medicine at the Infirmary and spent a year from 1956 to 1957 as a research fellow at the Massachusetts Memorial Hospital in Boston, USA. There he worked with Arnold (‘Bud’) Relman who was the inspirational editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. On his return he rejoined the academic staff of the university, becoming reader in medicine and was eventually appointed consultant physician at the Royal Infirmary in 1963.

Interested in the new technique of haemodialysis, he spent some time at the London Hospital and donated to their pathology department much needed supplies of haemalum. An energetic and conscientious man, he singlehandedly founded and ran the dialysis service for Tayside and the wider area for over twenty years, during which time he constructed his own artificial kidneys. Publishing widely especially on haemodialysis and renal disorders, he was known for his careful attention to detail and his rapport with his patients. He was a member of the Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and latterly a part time medical director of the Scottish Occupational and Environmental Health Service.

Unmarried, he had many female friends. Attending the theatre and listening to music were some of his favourite pastimes and he also enjoyed playing the stock market.

On his death on 23 February 2014, he was survived by his cousin, Mrs Fiona Shepherd.


RCP Editor


Courtesy Royal College of Physicians London, Munk’s Roll, Volume XII, page web

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