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Obituary: Dr Jack McCluggage, former dean at Queen's trained a generation of general practitioners

Published 18/09/2015

Many in medicine today owe Dr Jack McCluggage a huge debt
Many in medicine today owe Dr Jack McCluggage a huge debt

Doctor Jack McCluggage, who died recently after a long illness, was a former postgraduate dean in the Department of General Practice at Queen's University.

For 25 years he was a Northern Ireland Member of the General Medical Council. He was 74.

Dr McCluggage was born in Larne of farming stock and educated at Larne Grammar School and Queen's University, where he graduated in medicine in 1965.

He worked for some time as a GP in Cherryvalley and later he joined the Department of General Practice at Queen's, which was responsible for the training of general practitioners.

As postgraduate dean, he was responsible for the organisation and supervision of training of all junior doctors in the province during a time of great change in postgraduate training.

It was to become much more structured. Junior doctors in hospital were taken out of their comfort zones and had to adapt to new methods and procedures.

Paying tribute at Dr McCluggage's funeral, his close colleague and friend Professor Randal Hayes said: "There are many working in medicine today who benefited from Jack McCluggage's advice and guidance.

"He also had that quality in committee of only speaking when he had something useful to say. It was this which helped him make a success of the next stage of his career, as a member of the General Medical Council.

"He was an elected member for Northern Ireland for 25 years, and the fact that he was elected as our representative five times is a measure of his standing in the local medical community."

Dr McCluggage was a popular figure who was known to and respected by generations of doctors in Northern Ireland.

Professor Hayes said: "Jack was one of those whose education in school and university was free. Many of that generation felt that they needed to give something back. Jack did that in full measure, and many of those in medicine in Northern Ireland today are grateful for his life. We should remember him for the good that he has done."

He is survived by his son Marcus, who is a solicitor in London, and his wife Cathryn, a doctor at Bangor Health Centre.

Belfast Telegraph

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