submitted by Kytherian Biographies Project on 16.10.2011
Dr Lorna Martin McPhail, OBE, died peacefully from natural causes on 17 December 2009 at her home in Suffolk. She was 72.
From the British Medical Journal, 19th October, 2010.
Born in Glasgow, Lorna Martin McPhail attended Hutchesons’ Grammar School before her family moved to Bracknell, Berkshire. She trained at St Bartholomew’s Medical School in London, graduating as a doctor in November 1963. There she met and married a fellow doctor, Mitchell Notaras, who was later to become a surgeon. They had three daughters.
They divorced in the late 1960s, and she devoted many years to bringing up her children before deciding in the mid-1970s to brush up her medical skills when the girls went away to school. She began practising medicine part-time at St Luke’s Hospital in Guildford, Surrey, and remained there for five years.
However, she never forgot her Scottish roots, and eventually she packed her bags and moved to Clathy, Perthshire, where she worked part-time as a general practitioner and for the local police. In 1986 she gave up general practice to concentrate working full time with Tayside police, where she served for over 20 years as a police surgeon.
Never shy of going back to school, in 1992 she achieved a diploma in forensic medicine from Glasgow University, gaining a distinction.
Her work with Tayside Police covered anything from visiting prisoners who required medical attention to collecting forensic evidence from victims of rape and child abuse.
She was dedicated to the job and was responsible for both setting up and decorating a specialist room at Perth police station, full of toys and posters where children could be examined in less intimidating austere surroundings.
Her work was recognised when former Tayside Police Chief Constable Bill Spence and other colleagues nominated her for an OBE, which she received from Prince Charles in 2000.
She retired in 2003 and moved to Little Cornard, Suffolk, to be closer to her daughters and grandchildren. In later life she was severely disabled with osteoporosis but never complained.
She was a modest, hard working doctor who will be forever remembered by colleagues, friends, and family for her laughter, courage, and positive outlook on life.
She leaves her daughters, Fiona, Nicola, and Lorna; and four grandchildren.
Former police surgeon Tayside Police (b 7 July 1937; q St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, 1963; OBE, DFM), d 17 December 2009.
From the Hutchesons Magazine, March, 2010.
Dr Lorna Martin McPhail OBE
Class of 1955, 1937-2009
Dr McPhail served Tayside Police for more than 20 years, first offering part-time assistance as she practised as a GP in Perthshire and then retraining and dedicating her expertise on a full-time basis. She attended Hutchesons’ until the family moved to Bracknell, Berkshire. She trained at St Bartholomew’s Medical School in London and during her studies met and married Mitchell Notaras, a fellow doctor.
After they divorced, Dr McPhail moved back to Scotland with her three daughters and worked parttime as a GP, beginning to work part-time with the local police. She gave up general practise in 1986 to dedicate her full attention to her work with the police and gained a diploma in forensic medicine from Glasgow University in 1992. Her work with Tayside Police covered anything from visiting prisoners who required medical attention to collecting forensic evidence from victims of rape and child abuse. She retired in 2003.
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