Interview with Dr Eric Will, conducted by Professor Tilli Tansey, for the History of Modern Biomedicine Research Group, 04 November 2016, in the School of History, Queen Mary University of London. Transcribed by Mrs Debra Gee, and edited by Professor Tilli Tansey. The project management and the technical support were undertaken by Mr Adam Wilkinson and Mr Alan Yabsley, respectively.
Dr Eric (Es) John Will BM BCh, MA, FRCP, FBRS went from Grammar School to read Physiology on a Bosanquet Open Scholarship at New College, Oxford 1963-1966. He qualified medically in 1969 from clinical training at Guy’s Hospital, London, with House appointments that included renal transplantation. He passed MRCP in 1972 and took up a Medical Registrar and then Lecturer post in Nottingham. He spent two years (1975-1977) in Leiden, The Netherlands, in day-to-day clinical and laboratory research, especially exploring crystallisation relevant to renal stone disease. Subsequently, he became Senior Registrar in the Renal Unit in Nottingham City Hospital and then in 1980 Consultant Nephrologist at the regional renal unit at St James’s University Hospital, Leeds. His main activities became the creation of haemodialysis satellite units and the development of clinical renal computing. He later chaired the Hospital Staff Committee until the amalgamation of the two Leeds trusts. Nationally, he chaired the British Renal Computing Group (1982-1988) and was Secretary to the UK Renal Registry (UKRR), 1997-2007. He was co-opted to represent the Renal Association in several peri-informatics roles, including coding in the Clinical Terms Project and HRG Casemix development. An Honorary Fellowship of the British Renal Society acknowledged a career-long concern for the development of multi-disciplinary working and psychosocial issues. In the research tradition of nephrologists, he developed a research programme of clinical investigation with a computerised (expert) advisory system for the departmental management of renal anaemia, including theoretical papers and several large RCTs. In the UKRR he focussed on clinical audit and data presentation, justifying, in particular, the mechanisms of applied research and collaborative audit. He retired in 2007.
The History of Modern Biomedicine Research Group is funded by the Wellcome Trust, which is a registered charity (no. 210183). The current interview has been funded by the Wellcome Trust Strategic Award entitled “Makers of modern biomedicine: testimonies and legacy” (2012-2017; awarded to Professor Tilli Tansey).
The interview is part of the History of the Modern Biomedicine Interviews (Digital Collection).
Access to the transcript of this video interview and its related material:
History of Modern Biomedicine Interviews (Digital Collection), items e2017252-e2017262.
Access to the transcript of a longer, audio interview:
Example of how to cite: Tansey E M (intvr); Yabsley A (prod) (2017) Will, Eric: 01 - Becoming a doctor (04-Nov-2016). History of Modern Biomedicine Interviews (Digital Collection), item e2017253. London: Queen Mary University of London.
Note: Video interviews are conducted following standard oral history methodology, and have received ethical approval (reference QMREC 0642). Video interview transcripts are edited only for clarity and factual accuracy. Related material has been deposited in the Wellcome Library.
© The Trustee of the Wellcome Trust, London, 2017.