Designatory Letters: 
MB Edin 1946, MRCP Edin 1951, MD Edin 1958, FRCPS Glasg 1951, FRCP Lond 1979, Fellowship 1994

Colin McDougall qualified in medicine in Edinburgh in 1946 and was awarded the Burn-Murdoch Medal in Clinical Medicine. He worked in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford and in general practice before taking up a post as chest physician in the Royal Singapore Anti-Tuberculosis Association in Singapore from 1953-56. On returning to the UK, he pursued post-graduate training in clinical (internal) medicine in the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Norwich and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. Opting out of a career in the National Health Service, he then worked as a medical specialist in Sumatra and Aden, and with refugees in Algeria, before being appointed as Leprosy Specialist to the Ministry of Health in Zambia in 1967.

Dr McDougall returned to the UK in 1970, having previously contacted Dr RJW Rees at the National Institute for Medical Research, about the possibility of working in clinical or experimental research on leprosy in the UK. He was taken on with a small salary from LEPRA to see if anything could be achieved in a reasonable period of time. Thereafter followed an intensive period of learning and the acquisition of new knowledge and skills followed, under the able guidance of Graham Weddel and Dr Douglas Harman in the Leprosy Study Centre, London. The unit moved into accommodation in the Department of Dermatology, in the Slade Hospital, Oxford since by that time the beds were no longer being used for the admission of patients. The task of examining literally thousands of sections for bacillary and cellular changes due to one disease, on a day to day basis, and with a considerable element of negative or normal findings, despite long searches, in much of the material submitted, was inevitably tedious and repetitive. From the outset, however, it was mitigated by numerous visits to leprosy-endemic countries abroad, including Peru, Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil, Africa, India and the Far East and also by the proximity, in the Science Area of the University, to departments of basic applied and postgraduate scientific activity.

After retiring in 1998 Dr McDougall continued to support Leprosy Review, having been Editor for ten years from 1978, in revising and sub-editing manuscripts for possible publication and continued to visit leprosy-endemic countries abroad, mainly for WHO, to assess progress and advise on measures to increase case detection, wider implementation of multidrug therapy and better disability management.