Sir James Mackenzie (1853-1925) was a Scottish cardiologist and General Practitioner.
Mackenzie was a pioneer in the study of cardiac arrhythmias known as the father of British cardiology.
Developed the Mackenzie polygraph, which he developed to detect arrhythmias, which inadvertently laid basis for the modern day ‘lie-detector’.
A longstanding critic of traditional Medical education and a believer that clinical research was best practiced in the community within the field of General Practice.
- Born 12 April 1853 in Scone near Perth, Scotland.
- Attended Perth Academy until the age of 15, before leaving to be an apprentice to a chemist in Perth.
- At 21 started his medical studies at The University of Edinburgh.
- Graduating in 1878, worked initially at Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary before entering General Practice in Burnley.
- Worked in General Practice in Burnley between 1879 and 1902, developing a keen research interest in heart failure.
- 1892 published his work which included his clinical polygraph, in a paper entitled ‘The Study of the Pulse, Arterial, Venous and Hepatic and the Movements of the Heart’
- Moved to London in 1907 where he practiced as a cardiologist, becoming head of the cardiac department at the Mount Vernon hospital for Diseases of the Chest in 1913.
- 1915 – Knighted by King George V.
- Moved to St Andrews where he refocused his work on general practice, establishing the ‘James Mackenzie Institute for Clinical Research’ at St Andrews University.
- Died 26 January 1925, ironically of ischaemic heart disease
- Mackenzie J. Clinical report of a case of hemiparaplegia spinalis with remarks (Thesis). University of Edinburgh. 1882
- Mackenzie J. The study of the pulse, arterial, venous, and hepatic, and of the movements of the heart. Edinburgh Y.J. Pentland. 1902.
- Mackenzie J. Diseases of the heart. London: Hodder & Stoughton. 1908
- Mackenzie J. Symptoms and their interpretation. London: Shaw. 1909
- Mackenzie J. Digitalis. Heart 1911;2(4)
- Mackenzie J. Principles of diagnosis and treatment in heart affections. London: Henry Frowde, Hodder & Stoughton. 1916.
- Mackenzie J. The future of medicine. London: Henry Frowde, Hodder & Stoughton. 1919
- Mackenzie J. Heart disease and pregnancy. London: Henry Frowde, Hodder & Stoughton. 1921
- Mackenzie J. Angina pectoris. London: Henry Frowde, Hodder & Stoughton. 1923
I was not long engaged in my new sphere when I realized that I was unable to recognize the ailments in the great majority of my patients…For some years I went blundering on, gradually falling into a routine, i.e. giving some drug that seemed to act favourably on the patient, till I became dissatisfied with my work and resolved to try and improve my knowledge by more careful observation
- Mackenzie B. Eponymythology: History of Second-degree AV block. LITFL 2018
- McConaghey RMS. Sir James Mackenzie, M.D. 1853-1925. General Practitioner. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1974 Jul; 24(144): 497–498.
- Waterston D, Orr J, Cappell DF. Sir James Mackenzie’s Heart. Br Heart J. 1939 Jul; 1(3): 237–248.
- Sir James Mackenzie 1853-1925 Beloved Clinician. JAMA. 1966;196(6):591-592
- Montieth WBR. Bibliography With Synopsis of the Original Papers of the Writings of Sir James Mackenzie. London: Oxford University Press. 1930.
- Stevenson I. Sir James Mackenzie, 1853-1953. Am Heart J. 1953 Oct;46(4):479-84.
- McCormick JS. James Mackenzie and coronary heart disease. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1981 Jan; 31(222): 26–30.
- Krikler DM. Sir James Mackenzie. Clin Cardiol. 1988 Mar;11(3):193-4.
- McMichael J. Sir James Mackenzie and atrial fibrillation–a new perspective. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1981 Jul; 31(228): 402–406
- Murdoch JC. Mackenzie’s puzzle–the cornerstone of teaching and research in general practice. Br J Gen Pract. 1997;47(423):656–658.
- Murdoch J, Denz-Penhey H. John Flynn meets James Mackenzie: developing the discipline of rural and remote medicine in Australia. Rural Remote Health. 2007 Oct-Dec;7(4):726. Epub 2007 Oct 10.
- Smith C, Silverman M. A letter from Sir James Mackenzie to Dr. Carter Smith, Sr. Circulation. 1975;51:212-217
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