Designatory Letters: 
BSc Edin 1972, MB Edin 1974, MRCPath 1981, FRCPath 1993, FRCSEdin 1994, FRCP Edin 1994

(Contributed by Professor David Harrison)

Dr Kathryn McLaren was a complex colleague, inspiring, frighteningly knowledgeable, and sometimes hugely frustrating. Within the specialty of histopathology Kathryn was one of very few generalists, able to comment on a whole range of different diagnostic area with expertise and knowledge of up to date literature. Perhaps indeed she was not so much a generalist, as a specialist in numerous areas, particularly skin and endocrine pathology. She had an extensive referral practice and she gave of her time and effort to ensure that only the best would do. Many undergraduates, and certainly several generations of trainee pathologists, will remember with affection as an inspiring and committed teacher, her enthusiasm for the subject and sharing it, and her ability to make people feel they had done well. This was particularly evident in her roles within the Royal Colleges, particularly the Surgeons in Edinburgh. Kathryn taught, planned curricula and examined for many years. She developed strong relationships with students and when Pathology was at Teviot Place, until recent years the home of the Edinburgh Medical School, a regular succession of surgeons-in-training would find her to ask questions or join an impromptu tutorial.

Kathryn’s illness, her “problem”, was no secret and for many years it served only to drive Kathryn to demand excellence from herself and from others. She had a love of theatre and appreciated good things, personally designing pieces of jewellery she had commissioned. Kathryn is not replaceable but many will remember with great affection her commitment to people and to her work.