Charles Douglas’s Story Time – 25 June 2019

Charles Douglas began his sort-of-job-talk by assuring us that all his stories were true but in the end we were left wondering. Going back to his boyhood he recalled a time when, as a 14-year old, he had found work in the Glasgow east-end pub of a certain Maurice Fenton Digby who spent much of his time on the wrong side of the bar. This experience had left Charles benefiting from a number of lessons for life. He admitted that as a pupil at St Aloysius in Glasgow he had not excelled (especially so at Latin) but despite this and the academic put-down by his headmaster he found his way, via Langside College, to St Andrews University to study medicine. Here, Charles confessed, he had learned more of medicine through endlessly watching the 1970 TV series, Doctor in the House and managed to fail all three science subjects in his first year. Regular attendance at mass, however, redeemed Charles in the eyes of his Irish mother. Exam resits were a regular occurrence but somehow he managed to complete his degree and eventually went to Manchester General Hospital to practise his preferred obstetrics. However, he was attracted to the specialism of foetal cardiac photography, so from Manchester he moved to Tel Aviv where he teamed up with a fellow medic and bon-viveur, both men spending much time chasing Scandinavian nurses. Charles’s tales, told in his usual laconic manner, had his audience greatly amused and another Charles (Gray), in his vote of thanks, remarked that it was good to find a doctor with a sense of humour (a not-so-subtle side-swipe at the other retired GPs in the club).