A tribute to Douglas Fleming

Dr. Douglas Fleming, former lead of the RCGP Research Surveillance Centre, died in November 2018.

Anyone who has ever met Douglas and enjoyed even a few minutes of his company will not forget him. He was universally liked by all who have known him, maybe due to his easy smile, his love of the company of others, his eagerness to share his happy moments, his great knowledge of epidemiology, and his general good nature and infective enthusiasm. He was always keen to share his knowledge, his practice time, and even his own home with researchers keen to learn from his experience.

He is fondly remembered by many veteran EGPRN members who had the privilege to work with him. He was a strong and welcome voice at so many EGPRN meetings, always finding the right words to encourage a researcher to pursue their interest, and suggesting different angles or more appropriate research questions or methods. His keen intellect and learned wisdom were an asset to any research project, whether simply a few minutes of kind and precise criticism with suggestions for improvement of a presentation at an EGPRN meeting, or much more involved input in many collaborative international research projects. In fact, he led the first EGPRN collaborative studies, on referrals and home visits in general practice, and involved EGPRN members in early funded European projects such as eHID (Electronic Health Indicator Data) comparing incidence and prevalence rates in various European countries using data from medical records collected in daily GP practice. He was passionate about epidemiology and research using electronic medical records, and encouraged the start of the RER-GP group within EGPRN. He was globally acknowledged for his research into influenza, using data from general practice databases to study the weekly incidence of several diseases, including influenza.

Those who know him will sorely miss him, but are left with the honour and pleasure to have met and been enriched by such a perfect gentleman. The world is a poorer place now.

Jean Karl Soler in the name of EGPRN

This article was published under the category News on 02/01/2019 00:00.