Donald Paterson Award

In memory of Dr Donald Paterson, this award is given to a pre-consultant grade medical practitioner working in the UK for the best article on any subject related to paediatrics. This awards is now open for submissions.

About Donald Paterson

Dr Donald Paterson

Donald Paterson (1890 - 1969) was born in Canada and obtained a B.A. in science at Manitoba College and then an M.D. at Edinburgh University. He served in WW1 in the British army for three years, starting at the Battle of the Somme. In 1921 he obtained an MRCP while working (without pay) at both the Hospital for Sick Children on Great Ormond Street and at Westminster Hospital, while at the same time building a large consulting practice. In 1928 he co-founded the British Paediatric Association (BPA), serving as Secretary and President. He was a prolific writer. His monograph “Diseases of Children” became, after eight editions, Donald Paterson’s Sick Children.

At the start of WW2 Donald Paterson sent his Canadian-born wife Dorothy and their four sons to Canada, remaining in London throughout the Blitz. As children were being evacuated from the city, he set up outpatient clinics in six smaller hospitals around London, visiting them himself every week. Alarmed by the lack of coordination in the health system, he and his colleagues at the BPA presented a brief to the Ministry of Health, starting an important liaison between British Paediatrics and the government, sowing the seed for the introduction of the National Health Service.

In 1947, at the summit of his profession, Donald Paterson returned to Canada, requiring him first to obtain professional accreditation by examination. In Vancouver he found an acute shortage of child treatment facilities, and set about raising funds to build a Health Centre for Children at the Vancouver General Hospital. In 1947 the latter institution saw some 300 children as outpatients; by 1953 the number had risen to 15,000. Donald Paterson was made Clinical Professor of Paediatrics and given responsibility for outpatient teaching.

2021 winner

The 2021 winner of the Donald Paterson award was Dr Tom Waterfield for his paper, Validating clinical practice guidelines for the management of children with non-blanching rashes in the UK.

About the award

The Donald Paterson award has been running for over 50 years and is awarded to a pre-consultant grade medical practitioner working in the UK for the best article on any subject related to paediatrics. The paper needs to be published, or accepted to publication within two years of the award entry deadline.

Submitted articles are reviewed by an adjudicating committee established by the Academic Board of the RCPCH and are judged with respect to innovation, presentation, quality and scientific value.

The winner is awarded at RCPCH Conference. The winner receives £200 and a certificate, in addition to expenses covered for travel and a day entry pass to the Conference.

How to enter your submission

The awards will be running again in 2023 and are now open for submissions. The deadline for applications will be 19 December 2022. Please complete the submission form and send with your CV to

If you would like any further information please contact