Peter Moult: outstanding physician and endocrinologist
Paul Price | General news
Peter John Allestree Moult qualified at the Westminster Hospital, London, in 1969. He later recalled that, during a 6-month posting as a house officer there, he was allowed 2 half days off to have a haircut – but no free nights or weekends! He then undertook an orthopaedic post at Queen Mary’s, Roehampton, where he said he learnt more medicine than he had during his entire time at the Westminster.
Peter spent 18 valuable months on the Southampton medical senior house officer rotation in 1971–1972. His viva for membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) was conducted by Sheila Sherlock, who subsequently contacted him to offer him a research post in the Liver Unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London. In 1978 he was awarded his MD on the subject ‘Studies of renal tubular function in patients with autoimmune liver disease’, which was awarded without a viva.
Despite working in Sheila Sherlock’s Liver Unit, Peter always had a yearning to be an endocrinologist, so he next took up the post of Registrar in General Medicine, Endocrinology and Chest Disease at the Royal Free.
In October 1977, Peter joined the Endocrine Unit at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London (led by Mike Besser) as an MRC Training Fellow and Honorary Senior Registrar. Peter undertook meticulous research on prolactin and gonadotrophin pulsatility in patients with gonadal dysfunction. He felt that his endocrine training at Barts was superb, and that he had exposure to an amazing number of endocrine patients and pathologies.
‘Most of us who worked with Peter at Barts felt that he was amongst the brightest and most gifted clinically of all the trainees and, indeed, consultants. If there was a challenging general medical problem, Peter was undoubtedly the “go to” doctor.’
There were a large number of endocrine trainees at Barts at the time. Several have gone on to achieve illustrious careers as teaching hospital endocrinologists, many as professors. Peter was a very good research worker, but most of all he was an outstanding clinician. Most of us who worked with Peter at Barts, myself included, felt that he was amongst the brightest and most gifted clinically of all the trainees and, indeed, consultants. If there was a challenging general medical problem, Peter was undoubtedly the ‘go to’ doctor.
Peter was appointed consultant at the Whittington Hospital, London, in 1981. He and John Yudkin set up the Diabetes and Endocrine Unit there. As well as being an outstanding physician and endocrinologist, he was also an excellent teacher. He worked tirelessly and successfully until his career was cut short through ill health in 2003. He was much loved and greatly missed by his patients and colleagues at the Whittington.
Peter was a long-standing member of the Society for Endocrinology and served as the technical sub-editor for Clinical Endocrinology, as well as working for the Postgraduate Medical Journal.
A very kind and quiet man, Peter possessed a wickedly dry sense of humour and was a pleasure to have as a friend. His many interests outside medicine included a wide knowledge of computers, and expertise at carpentry and DIY. He was well read, with a passion for history, which tied in with his main hobby of collecting hammered coins.
Peter died peacefully in January 2017, after a long and uncomplaining battle with Parkinson’s disease. He is survived by Jane, who was an anaesthetist, and by their two children William and Annabel. He will be much missed.