Dr Thomas James Chalmers Macdonald

Personal Details

Dr Thomas James Chalmers Macdonald

13/07/1899 to 12/10/1966

Place of birth: Unknown

Nationality: British

CRN: 715502

Education and qualifications

General education

Educated in England, school unknown; Aberdeen University

Primary medical qualification(s)

MB ChB, Aberdeen, 1924

Initial Fellowship and type

FFARCS by Election

Year of Fellowship


Other qualification(s)

MD (with commendation), Aberdeen, 1928; DA(RCP&S), 1938; PhD, Aberdeen, 1945

Professional life and career

Postgraduate career

After graduation MacDonald worked in Aberdeen’s Department of Materia Medica & Therapeutics, researching the pharmacology of general anaesthetic drugs. After acquiring his MD he entered general practice, but anaesthetics continued to be his main interest and he built up a busy hospital and dental practice. Gazetted Lieutenant in 1928 he served in the TA, and during WW2 was responsible for a regional first-aid post. One of the first four NHS consultants appointed in 1948 he continued in that post until retirement in 1964.

Professional interests and activities

A widely experienced anaesthetist, especially for dentistry, his research on halogenated anaesthetic agents and equipment for their delivery is notable for the time and a matter worthy of more detailed investigation. It is presumed that his research continued in parallel with his clinical career because his PhD was not awarded until 1945, and the studies were the subject of his Presidential (1952-3) Address to the Scottish Society. He also served on the Board of the BJA.

Other biographical information

MacDonald had many outside interests: fencing & riding early on, and fishing, shooting & collection of antiques in later years. He was married with one daughter.

Author and Sources

Author: Prof Tony Wildsmith

Sources and any other comments: [1] Obituary. The Lancet 1966; 2: 1200 [2] Levack ID, Dudley HAF (Eds). Aberdeen Royal Infirmary: The People’s Hospital of the North-East. Aberdeen: Aberdeen Medico-Chirurgical Society, 1992 [3] McKenzie AG. The Centenary of the Scottish Society of Anaesthetists 1914-2014 I thank Dr Iain Levack for reviewing the script.