In memoriam: Dr David F. Cadogan

My father, my mentor and my inspiration.

Dad was an amazing man. Intelligent, compassionate, understanding and generous. Humble to a fault, I will never really know the extent of his academic achievements. A polyglot and diplomat; charming and sincere, Dad was capable of fitting seamlessly into each and every facet of society.

Dad taught me nothing, but showed me everything. My education was experiential rather than didactic as I observed and absorbed every action and interaction between my father and the outside world. I was always taken by his way with people. He would listen attentively to every nuance of conversation before uttering a considered and overarching response.

As a polymath, his academic knowledge combined with his practical skills and strength allowed him to turn his hand to anything and everything. From lovingly rebuilding cars and rewiring houses, to construction, lambing and, as Sous-chef de cuisine de maman, he became master of the three bird roast.

My father, my mentor and my inspiration. I miss him greatly.

Memories from around the world, collated by Tim Edgar

David was that rare breed of man, a true and kind gentleman, extremely knowledgeable but very approachable, generous with others and blessed with a wonderful sense of humour. His passion for his work and for passing on his knowledge did not fade with the years and I know there is a whole generation of professionals who are grateful for everything he has taught them. 

In the last twenty years of what approximates adult life, I’ve come across few that match his knowledge of subject matter and warmth of personality. I never felt small around him, only engaged and enthused to learn more. 

David was a living legend, our expert advisor and he had the “noblesse du coeur” that is rare and precious 

David Cadogan with Will and Hamish 2014
David Cadogan with William and Hamish 2014

If you wish to donate to David’s charity, Harmeny Education Trust, please visit and put David’s name in the comment box. This charity provides support to Scotland’s vulnerable young people.

Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

8 Comments

  1. To Mike and Alison, William, Hamish, Olivia and George,
    My sincerest sympathy on the loss of your beloved Dad and Grandad.
    Mike your words are a beautiful tribute to an incredible man, and wonderful father, who you clearly loved dearly and deeply and will miss beyond words. May he continue to inspire you daily. May it be some comfort and inspiration to you that your father’s exceptional and rare qualities, including his compassion and vast intellect, live on in you.
    Sincerest sympathies,
    Meleisha

  2. Beautiful words Mike, and a lovely tribute to your wonderful father. May he rest in peace and everything he showed you, live on with you.

  3. I’d echo Chris’ comments. I was grateful to read a tiny glimpse into your past and see that medical legends and all round nice people run in the family. Sorry for your family’s loss.

    “So come, my friends, be not afraid.
    We are so lightly here.
    It is in love that we are made
    In love we disappear”
    (Leonard Cohen)

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