College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine

Blue plaque honours GP’s legacy

A pioneering doctor, whose campaigning led to general practice being recognised as a medical discipline, has been celebrated with a blue plaque.

A blue plaque celebrating the life of Dr Richard Scott

Professor Richard Scott was the world’s first Professor of General Practice and a leading figure in Edinburgh’s medical community.

He established a general practice in the Royal Public Dispensary in the city’s south side – now Mackenzie House – for teaching medical students and promoting research in general practice.

And now, a blue plaque has been installed on the building to commemorate his achievements in highlighting the role that GPs can play in the health of a community.


World first

Scott, who was born in 1914, graduated from Edinburgh Medical School in 1936 and received his MD in 1938. Following war service he returned to Edinburgh and gained the Diploma in Public Health, quickly becoming a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Public Health and Social Medicine.

In 1963 he was appointed to the James Mackenzie Chair of Medicine in Relation to General Practice, the first position of its kind. His work helped to show that the relationship between a person and a GP is invaluable to that person’s health. He is credited as having improved the lives of patients around the world.


Related links

Edinburgh Medical School

Royal College of General Practitioners