Usher Institute

Professor Scott Murray retires

May 2018 saw the retirement of two much valued Professors from the Usher Institute, Raj Bhopal and Scott Murray.

Professor Scott Murray presenting a quaich to his Mongolian colleagues

Scott Murray has held the St Columba’s Chair of Primary Palliative Care at the University of Edinburgh.

A General Practitioner, with experience working as a medical missionary in Chogoria Hospital in Kenya, he came back to Edinburgh to work at Hermitage Medical Practice, and later Mackenzie Medical Centre at the University of Edinburgh - where he combined a busy workload with teaching and the beginnings of his research career. 

Primary Palliative Care 

Scott's research has focussed on the role of the generalist, and community health in the provision of palliative care.

Primary palliative care has great potential to deliver end-of-life care. Our work seeks to address the key challenges of providing care for all illnesses, at all times, for all dimensions of need, in all settings and in all nations.

Professor Scott Murray's Primary Palliative Care Research Group website

The Primary Palliative Care Research Group has identified key themes - noting that as there has always been 100% mortality, we should strive to be caring for all illnesses, at all times, in all nations, in all dimenions and all settings. The body of research examines current approaches, proposes and evaluates new ways of offering care.

PPCRG themes

Primary Palliative Care Research Group website


In addition to the Primary Palliative Care Research Group which he has led within the University of Edinburgh he has been instrumental in setting up the International Primary Palliative Care Network.  Founded in 2006, the IPPCN allows the flow of knowledge between the different continents.

International Primary Palliative Care Network website

Retiral event

A retiral event was held in the Anatomy Lecture Theatre at the University of Edinburgh to celebrate Scott's career. Colleagues shared glimpses of the body of work that he has contributed, and offered many memories of working together over the years.

Scott is an exemplar of what it is to serve faithfully and with humility. Thank you for all your hard work and the people you’ve helped, but mostly for your sincerity and trust.

I leave you with this thought. We are neither better nor less than anybody else but rather the best or least of ourselves. Scott has always worked hard on finding the best of himself – and I’m confident that won’t stop in his retirement, indeed I know it will be an exciting on-going journey.

Thank you for being our companion and colleague over many years, the enormous collection of shared experiences, and for all you’ve given to us, our students, patients and the University. It is, indeed, a career worth of celebration

Professor David WellerHead of the Centre for Population Health Sciences

Principal’s Medal

Scott's career has included many highlights, including being awarded the Principal's Medal Exceptional Service Award in 2013. This award recognises a staff member or team who has delivered exceptional service by devoting time and energy beyond what is expected of their position to supporting and serving the University community and mission.

Principal's Medal 2013 Winners Announced

St Colomba’s Hospice

Scott's Chair (jointly with the St. Colomba's Hospice Chair of Palliative Medicine, held by Professor Marie Fallon), has been kindly donated by St Columba's Hospice. St. Colomba's have been a great supporter of Scott's work.

St Colomba's Hospice

Death on the Fringe

In additional clinical work, research, teaching and advocacy, Scott has taken an active role in engaging with the public, working with Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief, he has contributed to the Death on the Fringe - a series of thought-provoking shows about life and death at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for several years, as well as events in the Caberet of Dangerous Ideas.

How to live and die well - videos

Scott has recently developed a video, with colleagues across Europe, which showcases the body of work of the Primary Palliative Care Research Group with some simple yet powerful take home messages - and opportunities for clinicians and publics alike to take a moment to stop and consider what palliative care means to them.  With versions available in many languages, and in a format suitable for led group discussions, these videos are a truly fantastic resource.

Early Palliative Care/How to Live and Die Well - Videos


We wish Scott the very best in his retirement.