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Professor Bertie Wood, former consultant physician at Perth, dies aged 82

Professor Robert Anderson Wood.

Professor Robert Anderson Wood, one of Scotland’s most respected physicians, died aged 82 on January 3, 2022.

Robert, known as Bertie, was born in Edinburgh in May 1939 to medical practitioner John Fraser Anderson and Janet Meikle Hall, becoming elder brother to Sandra in 1944.

He began his education at Edinburgh Academy before studying at Edinburgh University from 1956, from where he graduated BSc (First Class Hons) Pharmacology (1961) and MBC.B. (1963). He was awarded the Murdoch Brown Medal in clinical medicine and was assistant secretary of the University Union.

Robert Anderson Wood during his university days.

In 1963, Bertie began his career as a house officer in medicine and surgery at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

After a number of fast-track junior medical positions, he was appointed consultant physician at Perth Royal Infirmary in 1972, where he specialised in diabetes and medical oncology.

During this time, he was active on behalf of Tayside Health Board, holding significant posts such as the chairmanship of the Drug Information Working Party, and chairmanship of the Hospital Services Committee.

Perth appointment

He was a consultant physician at Perth Royal Infirmary for 20 years before being appointed Postgraduate Medical Dean at Aberdeen University.

Bertie held several appointments at national level including councillor and Dean of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and on committees of the then Scottish Office.

His increasing involvement in administration and postgraduate medical education opened the way to his final career post as Postgraduate Medical Dean at Aberdeen University, with a professorship in medicine.

This post involved extensive cooperation with Grampian and Highland Health Boards, all trusts in the north of Scotland, and the NHS Executive.

Of note was his role as lead Dean for Psychiatry for the UK. He was recognised with Fellowships of The Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh.

Honoured

In 2019, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh presented Bertie with the first ever medal for Fellowship with Distinction.

Bertie never fully retired. In later life, he served as Her Majesty’s Inspector of Anatomy for Scotland and on the committees of organisations such as the Law Society of Scotland, the Criminal Injuries Appeals Panel and the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland.

Outside medicine, he  was an accomplished golfer.

Golfer: Professor Wood in action.

A matter of lifelong pride was his membership of the late Dr Cowan’s Edinburgh University Golf team during the 1962-3 season in which the team won both the Scottish and British Universities team championships following which he represented the successful Scottish Universities international team.

He was a member of Elie Golf House Club for over 60 years and of The Royal & Ancient Golf Club in St Andrews for 56 years.

Golf club captain

He also enjoyed memberships of Craigie Hill Golf Club in Perth which he captained from 1999 to 2001, and Rosemount’s Blairgowrie Golf Club, all of which made for an enjoyable and busy life.

He combined his passion for the sport with a forensic knowledge of music, both classical and jazz, and in his younger years played trombone in a jazz band.

Bertie married Sheila Pirie in September 1965: the couple had four children, Nicola, Andrew, Joanna and Phillippa, and, eventually, 10 grandchildren.

Professor Wood and family.

Many will remember Bertie for his extraordinary intelligence, his dry wit and his renowned after-dinner speeches but most of all as a husband, father and grandfather to his family, who will all miss him greatly.

His funeral will take place at Kirkcaldy Crematorium at 11am on Saturday January 22. Family flowers only.

You can read the family’s announcement here.

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