From consoling patients after clinic with a pint, to training a future generation of doctors, neurologist James Brown will be remembered for his empathy, selflessness, and lifelong services to medicine.

And while his methods could often be perceived as somewhat unconventional, they would often be remembered fondly. 

One such example is during the 1970s when one of his patients became inconsolable with tears after being given a diagnosis. 

Dr Brown asked them to wait for him until after the clinic. 

They did and were promptly taken for a pint to chat things through.

Eastern Daily Press: Dr James Colin Brown - Picture: Brown familyDr James Colin Brown - Picture: Brown family (Image: Courtesy of family)

Dr Brown's career began following schooling in Edinburgh and - following in his father’s footsteps - medical school in Newcastle.  

Here he blossomed and obtained the top marks for his year – among the men that is.

He would quietly add that the only three women in his year took the three top spots. 

After graduating, he was taken under Professor Henry Miller’s wing, an eminent professor in Newcastle.

He was reportedly so terrifying that Dr Brown, upon discovering the heart of one of the professor’s research pigs stopped the day before a critical experiment, covered the pig in a sheet, pushed the trolley to A&E and resuscitated it. 

Dr Brown undertook research in Baltimore, in the US, and published work on neuromuscular disease that still informs practice today.

Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital - Picture: Brittany WoodmanNorfolk and Norwich University Hospital - Picture: Brittany Woodman (Image: Newsquest)

Despite being offered a post as a professor, he returned to Newcastle for three years before taking up a new consultant post between the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. 

His clinics would often run until 10pm and he would see up to 1,500 new patients and considerably more follow-ups each year.

Later, he would go on to secure a junior doctor and a second consultant. The department now boasts seven consultants, something he was proud about. 

His juniors recall being subjected to early morning runs three times a week around Eaton Park, with a pre-Christmas run culminating in a mandatory trip down the slide to a glass of champagne waiting at the bottom.

Equally popular were the weekly picnics for the junior doctors in training.  

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As chair of the consultant staff, Dr Brown ensured the hospital's present site would be near the University of East Anglia, fostering clinical research and paving the way for a future medical school that his son, Will, would enter in 2003.   

His family said that by the time he retired in 1996 aged 58, he had seen one tenth of Norwich in clinic. 

Dr Brown was also a major in the Territorial Army and worked tirelessly with local neurology charities, relishing time with patients.

On one occasion, he was found on the floor singing “row row row your boat” with a care home resident.

Eastern Daily Press: Norwich's Adam and Eve pub, where Dr Brown held repeat lessons for his students - Picture: Denise BradleyNorwich's Adam and Eve pub, where Dr Brown held repeat lessons for his students - Picture: Denise Bradley (Image: Newsquest)

At the age of 71, he began teaching medical students at the N&N and did so voluntarily for 12 years. The lessons would be frequently repeated inside the Adam and Eve pub.

He would also be found on the touchline supporting the medics rugby club, and spent retirement enjoying creative writing, researching military history, and spending time with his family. 

Speaking at his funeral, his children said: “Dad always made people feel better.  

“Indeed, this was his most salient gift and example – making people feel better whether as a father, grandfather, teacher or doctor. 

“Dad was a role model of empathy, service and selflessness.” 

Dr James Colin Brown, of Norwich, died on Monday, February 6, aged 84. He was the father of Jenny, Will, and Charlie, and grandfather to Julia, Ibby, Ben and Hettie. 

A private family committal took place on Friday, March 10, and donations were raised for Thornage Hall Camphill Community. 

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