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Obituary: Hugh MacPherson

College of Medicine members may have heard of the very sad death of Hugh MacPherson, who was a member of the College’s Scientific Advisory Council, Chaired by Professor Sir Stephen Holgate. Hugh passed away in August, aged 72, from pancreatic cancer.

Hugh had founded or co-founded two health clinics in York (The Northern College of Acupuncture, and The York Clinic for Integrated Healthcare on Tadcaster Road). 

Hugh MacPherson, who was a member of the College’s Scientific Advisory Council, died in August

He was also Professor of Acupuncture Research at the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York.

Hugh’s main contribution was to establish a sound scientific footing for acupuncture.  Aside from his professional life Hugh was a keen cyclist allotment holder and a beekeeper. Hugh was a great supporter of evidence to support various complementary medicine interventions. 

Hugh was one of the UK’s most prominent figures in complementary medicine as a researcher, lecturer and practitioner. He was also a lovely person and good friend of the College.

He will be greatly missed by us all and our thoughts are with his family.


Dr Michael Dixon

Michael Dixon is a GP and National Clinical Lead for Social Prescription (NHS England), as well as being Chairman of the College of Medicine. Dr Dixon has been appointed as a government advisor on GP commissioning. Dr Dixon is a strong advocate of preventative medicine, healthy living and integrated care. In his Devon practice, patients are able to directly access a range of health check and self-help initiatives; emergency and maternity services; NHS community services including podiatry and physiotherapy and, for certain patients and certain conditions, complementary therapies. The philosophy is to help patients keep well instead of waiting until they are sick before helping them. Its success is demonstrated by the practice’s low referral rates and high scores on all performance indicators. Dr Dixon is also Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster; Honorary Senior Fellow in Public Policy at the Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham; and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Integrated Health at the Peninsula Medical School. He is also a Senior Associate at the King’s Fund where he is a member of the Steering Group of the Inquiry into quality of GP care.