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Proceedings of the Association of British Neurologists Autumn Meeting, 22–24th September 2004

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ABN Medal Award 2004

David Stevens

The ABN Medal was established in 1996 and in the past has been awarded to such neurological giants as PK Thomas, John Walton, Ian McDonald, and John Newsom-Davis, so why is it being presented to David Stevens—a jobbing neurologist from the West Country? The answer is simple: it is because he is a unique, multi-talented neurologist who has given outstanding service and made a number of seminal contributions to our Association.

David trained at the neurological feet of Bryan Matthews, Hugh Garland, and Maurice Parsonage before taking up his appointment as consultant neurologist at the Gloucester Royal Infirmary in 1973. There, as a single-handed neurologist, he provided a neurological service for a population of 522 000, reported all the electroencephalograms and evoked response studies, carried out the electromyographic and nerve conduction studies for the county, and he was also the consultant in charge of Ermin House—a unit for the younger physically handicapped. This heavy clinical workload was not carried out with two SHOs, a registrar and a senior registrar, but with a single SHO who was on a medical rotation. His first registrar arrived in 1991 and he was joined by a second neurological colleague in 1994, 21 years after taking up his appointment.

David has an infectious enthusiasm for clinical neurology. He loves not only teasing out the diagnosis but also caring for his patients with chronic neurological disorders. He is a meticulous observer of the old school, but he is always ready and prepared to use the latest advances in neurological investigation. He is also, I suspect, the only neurologist who has a record of every outpatient, inpatient, ward consultation, and domiciliary that he has seen.

Despite his exceptionally heavy clinical workload he maintained a continuing interest in teaching and research, and …

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