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Logo of bmjThis ArticleThe BMJ
BMJ. 2007 September 22; 335(7620): 619.
PMCID: PMC1988996

David Martin Walker

David Walker was a general practitioner of boundless energy and enthusiasm, humility, and charm. He graduated in 1975 from the first intake at Nottingham University, where he helped found the medical society (MedSoc) and was assistant international secretary of the British Medical Students Association (BMSA).

After his house officer posts at Nottingham General Hospital he obtained a place on the Charing Cross general practice vocational training scheme (VTS) and took up partnership at his training practice in Hammersmith. He soon became a general practice trainer himself and in 1988 one of the course organisers of the Charing Cross VTS. He believed in mutual learning and declared he was simply “happy if the trainee learned as much as he did.” He was a passionate advocate of consultation skills and practised both homoeopathy and acupuncture.

He acted as doctor for both the Hammersmith Odeon and Lyric Theatre, and in 1988 completed his training as a police surgeon, which he was to continue for the next 18 years. In 1991 he established a practice at Queens Parade, Bath, where he worked simultaneously as a singlehanded general practitioner, trainer, police surgeon, and doctor for the Bath Racecourse and even Glastonbury Festival. He also established a local service for chronic fatigue syndrome and founded the BANES (Bath and North East Somerset) out of hours service, serving as its chairman until his death. Most impressively of all, he was a doting father to five boys, and it was their achievements of which he was most proud.

In 2004 he was diagnosed with oesophageal carcinoma, which claimed his life. He bore the diagnosis and its symptoms with dignity and unfailing good humour. He continued to work, returning just three months after his oesophagectomy, and even took up kick-boxing during his convalescence. He leaves his wife, Beverly; five sons; and two stepsons.


General practitioner Bath (b 16 February 1952; q Nottingham 1975; MRCGP, DRCOG), died from oesophageal cancer on 28 July 2007.

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