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April 6, 1970

John Alexander MacWilliam (1857-1937): Aberdeen Physiologist

JAMA. 1970;212(1):147-148. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170140103027

John A. MacWilliam, born in Culmill, Scotland, received his medical training at the University of Aberdeen. In 1880, he qualified for the degree of master of medicine and was awarded the John Murray medal for high scholastic standing.1 Two years later he presented a thesis on the muscle fibers of the myocardium and diaphragm in various classes of animals and received the degree of doctor of medicine with honors. MacWilliam pursued postgraduate work at the University of Edinburgh and University College, London; he also studied under Karl Ludwig in Leipzig, where, with Bowditch of Harvard and Gaskell of Cambridge, the physiologic properties of heart muscle were the center of interest. Subsequently, MacWilliam was appointed demonstrator of physiology at University College, London, for four years, during which time he served on the medical staff of the Charing Cross Hospital Medical School and the London School of Medicine for Women. In