Former Fellow, Sam Galbraith, left a career in neurosurgery to become a Labour politician because he found that many of the medical problems he was dealing with were symptomatic of wider problems in society.
A collection of essays memorializing Galbraith has been edited by a group of colleagues, friends and family helmed by former President of our College and Emeritus Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Glasgow, Sir Graham Teasdale. Other members of the editorial board are Brian Wilson, Nicola Tennant, Harry Burns, and David Hamilton. Contributors include Alastair Darling, Muriel Gray, Harpreet Kohli, and Jackie Baillie.
Galbraith’s political actions were shaped by his personal experience as both a doctor and patient in the NHS. Diagnosed with a serious lung condition shortly after his election to parliament in 1987, he underwent a lung transplant and was the longest survivor of such an operation when he died aged 68 in 2014. He successfully abolished NHS markets in Scotland and brought the link between deprivation and illness to the forefront of his policies.
Known for a razor-sharp wit accompanied by a generous humanity, the essays show that Galbraith had the confidence to do things differently. In both medicine and politics this meant amassing evidence and then acting upon the reasonable conclusions that might be drawn from it, no matter how unpopular they might be.
The book was launched on Wednesday 11 May.
Remembering Sam: The Life and Times of Sam Galbraith is published by Birlinn (£12.99, hardback)