MB ChB Wales 1957; PhD Camb 1972; MSc Manch 1977; FRCP Lond 1975.
Adams was educated at Penarth Grammar School and at the Welsh National School of Medicine, Cardiff. After appointments at Cardiff Royal Infirmary he became registrar in medicine at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge in 1963, where he met Judith Lockyer [Judith Adams] who he married in 1972. He was appointed lecturer in medicine at University of Manchester in 1971, and was promoted to the chair of medicine and honorary consultant physician at MRI in 1973. Adams' main research interests were nutrition, bone and mineral metabolism and disorders of the thyroid. Adams was a former president of the Manchester Medical Society.