Simon Newell, 1956-2016

Neonatal consultant was an ‘inspirational and gifted teacher’ at the University of Leeds

September 15, 2016
Obituary: Simon Newell, 1956-2016

A leading paediatrician who taught at the University of Leeds’ medical school has died at the age of 59.

Simon Newell, a neonatologist in the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, was killed in a cycling accident in the Lake District on 10 August.

As a senior consultant in the clinics of St James's University Hospital and Leeds General Infirmary, Dr Newell was involved with saving the lives of hundreds of babies born prematurely in the city of Leeds.

He also helped to train students and junior doctors as an honorary senior clinical lecturer at the University of Leeds  and won widespread acclaim for his teaching.

“He was an inspirational and gifted teacher, with a knack for a memorable or humorous anecdote or pithy one-liner to drive home a point or enliven a presentation,” recalled his friends and university colleagues, Jonathan Darling and Lawrence Miall.

“He once recounted how, as an undergraduate volunteer for a physiology experiment, he sat on the roof of the medical school in winter in his underwear until delirious with a core temperature of 32°C – he said that this gave him sympathy with babies who had therapeutic hypothermia years later,” they said.

Dr Newell won praise as the co-author of the popular paediatric textbook Lecture Notes: Paediatrics and for setting the qualifying examination for new paediatric consultants. He also published many scientific papers primarily in neonatal medicine, gastroenterology and medical education.

His daughter Penny Newell, a doctoral researcher in English at King's College London, described how her father's life was personally dedicated to education, inspiring not only his students but his family too.

"Whatever the subject, students would often feel he was confiding in them rather than teaching them," said Ms Newell, who teaches literary criticism and cultural studies at King's.

"His nature was as a gentle and unexpected man," she said, adding he "inspired hundreds of medical students to pursue careers in child health and paediatrics" as well as inspiring his wife Debra, a GP who went through medical school with Dr Newell, and his three children, who are engaged in the fields of medicine, law and academia.

"This natural aptitude for communicating with students as close companions will be sorely missed, in his professional life and in his close family, where he had only just begun to teach his one-year-old granddaughter to look at the world with his own sense of amazement," said Ms Newell.

jack.grove@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Laurel and Hardy sawing a plank of wood

Working with other academics can be tricky so follow some key rules, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations