A historic Aberdeen-based medical society is to mark the memory of a leading north-east professor at a special lecture held in his honour.

The Aberdeen Medico-Chirurgical Society, which was founded in 1789 and has a membership of over 300north-east medical professionals, is to mark the life and work of Professor Jim Petrie at a lecture on Thursday, April 24 at the Kings Conference Centre in Aberdeen.

Born in Aberdeen, Jim Petrie was Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at Aberdeen University from 1984 and latterly head of the combined department of Medicine and Therapeutics from 1994.

Prof Petrie, who passed away in 2001 just before his 60th birthday, was responsible for establishing the Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network (SIGN) which has now produced over 50 clinical guidelines for a variety of medical conditions. SIGN guidelines are not only of practical importance for medicine in Scotland, but are also recognised throughout the world.

The lecture itself will see the society welcome Hans Hogerzeil, Professor of Global Health at Groningen University in the Netherlands to Aberdeen in the first of what is hoped to be a series of talks in Petrie’s memory. 

Professor Hogerzeil will discuss the ethical dilemmas faced by health policy makers, health workers, scientists and pharmaceutical companies throughout the world in achieving universal access to new essential medicines and will look at some of the key questions structuring this debate.

Melvin Morrison, Honorary Secretary of The Aberdeen Medico-Chirurgical Society, said: “Professor Jim Petrie is a key Aberdonian figure in recent medical times and his work in helping establish the SIGN guidelines has been recognised throughout the world. Jim championed the promotion of medical treatment being delivered according to guidelines and the benefits of his work within this area are still being felt today.  He was an expert in high blood pressure, so will be well known to many sufferers from that condition.

“We plan to hold a series of lectures to honour the life and work of Professor Petrie and we’re delighted to welcome Professor Hans Hogerzeil to the first of these on April, 24. Professor Hogerzeil is a world authority of the introduction of drugs to developing countries and some of the ethical dilemmas faced by professionals in allowing this to happen and it is certainly shaping up to be a stimulating and interesting debate. We’d be delighted to welcome anyone who is interested along to the evening.”

The lecture will begin at 7pm and admission is free. Light refreshments will be available from 6.60.  Attendees are asked to book their place in advance if possible by contacting the society’s office on 01224 437104 or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Aberdeen Medico-Chirurgical Society was founded in 1789 as a result of students being unhappy with the quality of their teaching.

Now an established society for consultants, general practice principals, doctors and doctors in training, the society meets monthly to undertake a range of activities which includes overseeing funding bursaries for student electives, providing access to portraits, artifacts and documents which form a unique record of local, national and international medical developments as well as promoting historical and epidemiological research through the use of its extensive library.