John George Macleod

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John George Macleod

John George Macleod (Kirkhill, 8 May 1915 – Edinburgh, 4 April 2006) was a Scottish doctor of medicine and a writer of medical textbooks .


Macleod was the elder brother of professor Anna MacGillivray Macleod; his younger brother was Dr. Alasdair MacGillivray Macleod, a general practitioner in Linlithgow. He was the son of Rev. Alasdair MacGillivray Macleod and Margaret Ingram Sangster, M.A. and the grandson of Rev. George Macleod of Garrabost, Isle of Lewis. He was second cousin to the Right Hon. Iain Norman Macleod, who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1970. They belong to the branch of the Macleods of Pabbay and Uig.

On 21 December 1942, John George Macleod married Nancie Elizabeth Clark. Their issue are two sons, Peter and Keith and a daughter, Gillian.


Macleod was educated at George Watson's College and studied medicine at Edinburgh University, where he graduated in 1938. During the Second World War from 1939 to 1945 he was a major in the army at the Royal Army Medical Corps. In 1941 he obtained a post at the Edinburgh University and in 1947 was asked to become a member of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. In 1950 he became a consultant physician at Edinburgh's Western General Hospital.

In 1964, Macleod wrote the medical handbook Clinical Examination (later renamed Macleod's Clinical Examination), which is still in print in its 12th Edition and has sold close to a million copies. In 1964, the physician Sir Stanley Davidson offered him the opportunity to update Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine, which sold more than two million copies worldwide and of which Macleod contributed to six editions. These two textbooks played a crucial part in keeping Edinburgh on the world map of medicine and were translated into many languages such as Japanese and Russian. In 1971 he was appointed vice-chairman of the University Department of Medicine of the Western General Hospital. He died in Edinburgh in April 2006 aged 90.[1][2]

Personal Note[edit]

He was interested in art and gave lectures on Art in Medicine with wonderful slides he had collected. He also was an enthusiastic supporter of the Traverse Theatre and an excellent garden designer and a keen gardener.


  • The Macleods – The Genealogy of a Clan, Section Four by Alick Morrison, M.A., by Associated Clan Macleod Societies, Edinburgh, 1974
  • The MacLeods – The Genealogy of a Clan, Section Four by The Late Major Loudoun Hector Davenport MacLeod, RM, 1988