Date of death: 14 August 2013
Year James Spence Medal awarded: 1983
John Forfar studied at the University of St Andrews and later returned to teach, after a career as a Medical Officer to the 47th Royal Marine Commando, from which he was awarded the Military Cross. He worked as a consultant paediatrician at the Royal Infirmary, Dundee, before being elected to the Edward Clark Chair at the University of Edinburgh. He has been regarded to have established modern neonatal care in Edinburgh and successfully creating a team capable of providing excellent paediatric service.
He prolifically contributed to paediatric literature and was commended for teaching a large number of paediatricians. He was also influential; he became President of the Association of Medical Professors and Heads of Departments of Paediatrics, Chairman of Clinical Group of the Association of British Adoption and Fostering Agencies, and Chairman of the Joint Paediatric Committee of the Royal Colleges of Physicians and the BPA.
Professor Forfar had a huge impact on the training and career structure for clinical medical officers and was awarded the James Spence Medal for outstanding contributions as both an academic and general physician.