John Parkinson

Sir John Parkinson (1885 – 1976) was an English cardiologist

Eminent British cardiologist of the London hospital, at the forefront of clinical research in cardiology in the early 1900’s

First to introduce adrenaline in the treatment of Adams-Stokes attacks

In 1930, along with Louis Wolff and Paul White in America, Parkinson described bundle-branch block associated with a short P-R period in healthy young people prone to paroxysmal tachycardia (the Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome). Other special interests included the importance of radiology in the diagnosis of heart disease, cardiac infarction and angina pectoris. 


  • Born 10 February 1885
  • 1907 – MRCS, LRCP – University of Freiburg, and the London Hospital
  • 1910 – MD, London Hospital. MRCP (1911)
  • 1913-1914 Chief Assistant to Sir James Mackenzie in the Cardiac Department of the London Hospital
  • 1914-1918 Royal Army Medical Corps 
  • 1917-1919 In charge of the military heart centre in Rouen
  • 1927 – FRCP
  • 1930 President of Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland
  • 1931 – 1956 consulting cardiologist to the Royal Air Force
  • 1933 Appointed Consultant Physician to the Cardiac Department at the London Hospital
  • 1948 -Knighted by King George VI for his services to cardiology
  • 1951-1955 – President of British Cardiac Society
  • 1952 – Held the first European Congress of Cardiology as President of European Society of Cardiology
  • Hon LLD Glasg(1951) Hon FACP(1951) Hon DSc NUI(1952) Hon FRCPE(1953) Hon FRCPS Glasg(1962) Hon FRCPI(1962) Hon FRSM
  • Died 5 June 1976 at 91 years

Medical Eponyms

  • Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome (1930) is a combination of the presence of a congenital accessory pathway and episodes of tachyarrhythmia. When recognised in 1930 during a case study of 11 patients, it was first described as:

Functional bundle-branch block and abnormally short P-R interval, occurring mostly in otherwise healthy young people with paroxysms of tachycardia or of auricular fibrillation

Wolff L, Parkinson J, White PD

Key Medical Attributions

Major Publications


  • Biography: John (Sir) Parkinson. Royal College of Physicians. Munk’s Roll: Volume VII: 443.  
  • Evans W. Obituary. Sir John Parkinson. British Heart Journal. 1976; 38: 1105-1107.
  • Obituary. Sir John Parkinson. Lancet. 1976; 307 (7973): 1359.
  • McDonald L. Profiles in Cardiology. Sir John Parkinson- A Leader in Cardiology. Clinical Cardiology. 1989; 12: 546-548. 
  • Cadogan M. History of the Electrocardiogram. LITFL

eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  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 |

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.