Papers of Sir Andrew Watt Kay, President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, 1972-1974

Scope and Content

Letters received, 1948-1981; unpublished addresses, 1977-1983; honorary degree presentations, 1966-1981; material relating to his retirement, 1981; newspaper cuttings, 1939-1981; educational awards and honorary titles, 1933-1981; photographs, 1960's-1988; miscellaneous items including two wooden shields

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Andrew Watt Kay was born in Newton-on-Ayr on 14 August 1916. He was educated at Ayr Academy and the University of Glasgow where he graduated MB, ChB (Hons) with the Brunton Memorial Prize in 1939. After graduation he rapidly acquired his surgical qualifications and the degrees of M.D. and Ch.M. both with honours; the doctorate attracted the highest award of the Faculty of Medicine – the Bellahouston Gold Medal. His training as a house surgeon began under Mr A.J. Hutton, the then senior surgeon at the Western Infirmary, Glasgow followed in 1942 by junior surgeon in the University Department of Surgery at the Western under Professor Charles Illingworth. He held this post until 1956. During this period he published his original observations on gastric acid secretion which pointed the way to the modern understanding of histamine receptors in the stomach. At the same time, together with R.A. Jamieson, he began the first edition of the Textbook of Surgical Physiology. He was Major in the Royal Army Medical Corps in charge of the Surgical Division, Millbank Military Hospital 1946-1948. For a brief period of two years from 1956 he was Consultant Surgeon in charge of wards at the Western Infirmary, Glasgow before accepting in 1958 the Chair of Surgery at the University of Sheffield. He returned to Glasgow in 1964 as Regius Professor of Surgery.

He was appointed a member of the Medical Research Council and of the Royal Commission on Medical Education on which he played a leading role in the design of the undergraduate curriculum. Thereafter, he became Chairman of the Academic Advisory Committee responsible for establishing the new Medical School at the University of Leicester. In 1972 he became the first holder of the post of Chief Scientist, Scottish Home and Health Department and simultaneously President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. He received a knighthood in 1973. Sir Andrew retired in 1981.

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Related Material

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