MB CM Aberdeen 1886, MD 1892, LLD (hon) 1927.
Milligan was born in Aberdeen on 24 August 1864. He was educated at Aberdeen University and undertook postgraduate study on diseases of the ear in Göttingen and Vienna. Milligan returned to England and held house appointments in Liverpool, where he contracted blood poisoning. He spent some time at sea to recuperate, and met there Dr Pierce, a Manchester aural surgeon, who persuaded him to come to Manchester. In 1890 Milligan was appointed assistant surgeon to the Manchester Ear Hospital and two years later became the first lecturer in diseases of the ear at Owens College Manchester. He was appointed aurist and laryngologist to MRI in 1899 and he also had a very busy private practice in Manchester. Milligan introduced modern ENT surgery to Manchester, using modern scientific methods, especially pathology. He was recognised as a brilliant operator and developed otology into a highly skilled branch of surgery.
Milligan was a pioneer in the use of radium and diathermy in the mouth, throat and larynx. His support was crucial to the foundation of the Manchester and District Radium Institute (later Christie Hospital) and he did important work both in a medical capacity and in raising funds for the prohibitively expensive supplies of radium. Milligan made a significant contribution at the beginnings of cancer research, and gained great popularity among the people of Manchester. Milligan was knighted in 1914 and was a world renowned ENT surgeon. He was a member of MMS (president in 1922), Manchester Clinical and Pathological Societies, the Laryngological and Otological Sections of the Royal Society of Medicine. Milligan retired from Manchester to Scotland in February 1919 after suffering a serious illness. He died on 19 December 1929.