Dr Andrew Gerard Doughty

Personal Details


02/09/1916 to 02/06/2013

Place of birth: Lincoln, England

Nationality: British

CRN: 499279

Education and qualifications

General education

Beaumont College 1930-35

Primary medical qualification(s)

MBBS 1941 London University

Initial Fellowship and type

FFARCS by Election

Year of Fellowship


Other qualification(s)

MRCS LRCP 1941, FRCOG (ad eundem) 1980, DA


Professional life and career

Postgraduate career

Dr Andrew Gerard Doughty was born in Lincoln during a Zeppelin raid in 1916; his father was a Steel Engineer. The family spent a short time in South Africa. His schooling was at Beaumont College where he was awarded a scholarship. Following this he entered medical school at St. Thomas’s Hospital in 1935 with an entrance science scholarship. Following graduation in 1941 he completed his house officer posts in surgery, medicine and obstetrics at St. Thomas’s. In 1942 he entered military war service with the RAMC and Indian Medical Service. Having been  commissioned as a Lieutenant on 21 February, he was dispatched to the Far East Theatre. Initially assigned general duties with which he became bored, he apparently volunteered for training in anaesthesia and was sent to the British General Hospital Calcutta to undertake training. He emerged from the RAMC with the rank of Major and as a specialist in 1947  returning  to St. Thomas’s first as registrar and then senior registrar, training during the inception of the NHS in 1948.  Strongly advised to apply for a consultant post at the district general hospital in Kingston- upon- Thames, he was duly appointed in 1950, and remained there until his retirement in 1982.

Professional interests and activities

Dr Doughty had wide ranging interests. Whilst in Calcutta he became adept at anaesthetising mice for a research project on typhus. His initial interests had been in the direction of obstetrics, but this wasn’t an option in the RAMC. However, he was able to fulfil this interest later. Upon his appointment at Kingston Hospital he  described it as a “hell hole” but he was determined to bring about change. During his career he set up a bespoke  obstetric anaesthetic service and 10-bedded ICU which bore his name, one of the first established in a DGH,  he also initiated early annual statistical data before the concept of established audits. He was an early advocate  of Obstetric Epidural Analgesia developing a pioneering  training course, the highlight of which was the Sunday lunch prepared by Mrs. Doughty.  Dr Doughty was President of the Obsteric Anaesthetists Association and, in recognition of his contributions, awarded the Gold Medal. Many “experienced” anaesthetists will recall learning and practicing the “Loss of Resistance  Doughty technique” to indentify the epidural space with  less than smooth reusable glass syringes,  before the advent of modern commercial single use equipment. In recognition of his contribution to obstetrics he was additionally honoured with a Fellowship ad eundum of the RCOG. 

His other significant contribution to anaesthesia was the development of an innovative and  modified version of the existing tongue plate  gag for use in ENT (tonsillectomy) surgery and the challenges of a shared airway.

During his career he achieved numerous publications and served as President of the Section of Anaesthetics of the Royal Society of Medicine. In 1993 he received the accolade of Honorary Membership of the AAGBI in recognition of his significant achievements and contributions during  a medical career as a notable anaesthetist. Answering the question “why anaesthesia” on his self submitted biographical form he answered that he drifted into anaesthesia during his war service then stuck with what he knew best.

Other biographical information

Dr Doughty met his future wife Peggy, a Nightingale Nurse, at St Thomas’s,  becoming married  in 1949. He followed the Catholic Faith and in a quiet unassuming way his faith was apparently his cornerstone. On his retirement he was able to devote his time to his lifelong passion of  music. Singing particularly the music of Gilbert and Sullivan was an interest. He regularly sang with another retired anaesthetic colleague Hugh Seeley, who said of Andrew “ He was always regarded as a wise counsel and totally and utterly honest”. He also enjoyed canal boating holidays with his children. Peggy predeceased him and he was survived by his children.   

Author and sources

Author: Innes Simon Chadwick

Sources and comments:

The London Gazette 9 July 1943, 36087 p3118
Obituary, BMJ 2013; 347: f5066
GMC Medical Register UK accessed on line Ancestry.com
Biographical information accessed on line Ancestry.com
More Notable Names in Anaesthesia, McKenzie AG, 2021 p51-3, The Choir Press, UK.
Citation, Rollin AM,  Anaesthesia News, AAGBI, November 1993 Information obtained from Dr Doughty’s self submitted biographical college “Boulton Form” dated 1988. Any further information would be welcome.

Photo available in the Andrew Doughty | The BMJ Obituaries: 21 September 2013: page 26.