Dr Michael Emslie – Pioneer of Occupational Health: a tribute

Dr Michael Emslie MB ChB (Hons) MRCGP AFOM OstJ: 31st July 1931 to 12th July 2018

We are very sorry to announce the recent death of Dr Michael Emslie, an early pioneer of the UK’s occupational health (OH) market and mentor to sons Alasdair and Richard, with whom he worked closely throughout his long career in occupational medicine.

Alasdair recently wrote about Michael’s work and life:

“Michael graduated from Aberdeen Medical School, having received a gold medal for anatomy and cum laude honours. He then undertook his National Service in the army, looking after the Gurka regiments in Singapore, for whom he retained great affection and respect.

"Following demobilisation, he moved to Eastbourne in Sussex to enter General Practice - at one time in Eastbourne, there were five Dr Emslies in clinical practice, which used to confuse some patients! His father was a GP; Alasdair had also joined the family practice after training; his uncle was a Consultant Chest Physician and his daughter-in-law an Anaesthetist - and Michael soon became interested in occupational medicine.

"As an Appointed Factory Doctor, he started to build a portfolio of local clients including pharmaceutical companies, motor retailers and technology engineers, putting in place the first foundations of the outsourced OH market.

"Michael had realised at an early stage (before research confirmed it) the importance of work as a beneficial force in maintaining good health and social contacts. His business Medical and Industrial Services Ltd grew to be one of the larger early outsourced OH companies and is now AXA PPP Healthcare, which continues to run today, based in Eastbourne.

"Michael retained a lifelong interest in medicine and continued, in the background following retirement, to support his sons and colleagues as they built Health Management Ltd and now Duradiamond Healthcare Limited.

"Michael always believed that the difference between good medicine and great medicine was a commitment to hard work, a patient-centric focus and kindness; these values endure and remain ever more relevant in today’s fast-paced, technological world.

"He was a great mentor and as his son, I am proud to have worked for and with my father.” Alasdair Emslie BM MRCGP DRCOG FFOM FFOM (I) FRCP CMIOSH