MB ChB Edinburgh 1923; FRCS Eng 1935.
McDowall was born in Bradford on 22 February 1901 and was educated at Fort William School, George Watson's College and Edinburgh University. After graduating, McDowall set up in general practice in Bradford. After six years, he decided to undertake specialist training, and held hospital appointments in London. In 1938 he was appointed surgeon to the Iraq Government at Baghdad. He later became professor of surgery at the Royal Iraq College of Medicine. He entered the RAMC in 1943 and served in Italy, Germany and Singapore. McDowall returned to England in 1946 and was appointed consultant plastic surgeon to Wythenshawe Hospital, a position he held until retirement in 1966. He also set up a burns unit for children at Booth Hall Hospital, Manchester. McDowall became an authority on the treatment of burns, especially in children, and campaigned to reduce the number of firework and nightdress burns. He also had appointments at Wigan and Preston, where he created the plastic surgery unit and continued as consultant until he was 70. His son (Robert Andrew Woodman McDowall) also became a plastic surgeon. McDowell died on 30 June 1978.