National Health Service History
Sir Leslie Turnberg
President of the Royal College of Physicians from 1992 to 1997, Sir Leslie was educated at Stand Grammar School, Whitefield and the University of Manchester, where he graduated in medicine in 1957. Working at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, he became interested in gastroenterology under the direction of Harry Howat. He moved into academic medicine with a research fellowship at University College Hospital, followed by a lectureship in Sheila Sherlock's department at the Royal Free Hospital, and then a year in the United States as a research fellow, investigating ion exchange processes in the human ileum.
He was appointed as lecturer and then senior lecturer at the University of Manchester. The establishment in 1973 of Hope Hospital, as Manchester's third teaching hospital, led to his appointment as the first professor and honorary consultant physician. He was later dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Manchester (from 1986 to 1989) when he oversaw the introduction of a new curriculum and the replacement of lectures by teaching in seminar groups. A member of the Society for Gastroenterology, the General Medical Council, and the Council of the Royal College of Physicians, he chaired the RCP education committee and a committee investigating the problem of communication between doctors and their patients. Sir Leslie is a past president of the Royal College of Physicians, and the formation of the Specialist Training Authority of the Medical Royal Colleges, of which he was chairman in 1996.