Kathleen Gordon Priestman MRCS LRCP FFHom (3 June 1911 – 26 May 2006) was a physician at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital and the Children’s Homeopathic dispensary in Shepherd’s Bush.
A devout Christian, Priestman served for a decade between 1981-1991 as president of the London Missionary School of Medicine. Her younger sister, Lena Frances Gordon Priestman (1913 – 2003), also qualified MD from the London School of Medicine for Women and served as medical officer with the Sudan United Mission Hospital in Maidugari, Nigeria.
Kathleen Priestman was born in Sullcoates, Yorkshire, the daughter of solicitor Thomas Priestman and his wife Dorothy Caroline Gordon.
Dr. Anita E. Davies provided an obituary for Priestman in Homeopathy in 2006:
Dr Priestman, who died in May 2006 aged 94, was a well-known general practitioner in Hendon, North London. She was loved by her patients and missed very much when she retired in the 1980s. After studying medicine at the Royal Free Hospital University of London she qualified MRCS Eng. LRCP Lon. in 1934. She studied and practiced homeopathy becoming a Fellow of the Faculty of Homeopathy in 1955. She worked at the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital and after the retirement of Dr Donald Foubister, took charge of the Children’s Department looking after both inpatients and outpatients.
In 1964 when Dr Margery Blackie was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Homeopathy she asked Kathleen Priestman to lecture on children’s diseases. This was part of the revitalization of the teaching programme organized as intensive courses of homeopathic medicine for medically qualified physicians. The lectures were taped and are still available through the Faculty of Homeopathy. They are well worth listening to, as she illustrates her discussion of Materia Medica with personal experiences, which make the remedies come alive.
Her family have always been involved in missionary work overseas and she was closely associated with the Missionary School of Medicine, becoming its President between 1981 and 1991. Dr Priestman championed classical homeopathy at a time when a section of the evangelical church accused it of occultism, refuting their claims and continuing to use and teach this form of therapeutics.
During her retirement Kathleen enjoyed craftwork and reading. The country setting in Crowborough where she lived enabled her to enjoy her hobby of bird watching and gardening. She was always a happy and hospitable person even as she became more frail being upheld by her strong Christian faith. At the funeral service the vicar affirmed her excellent diagnostic abilities which reflected the homeopathic approach to whole person medicine. Dr Priestman would indeed be pleased and supportive of the teaching of whole person medicine which is increasingly encouraged today.
Douglas Borland & Kathleen Priestman, Homoeopathy in Practice (1982)
Dr Douglas Borland presented the material in this book as a course to doctors at the London Homoeopathic Hospital during the 1930s. It was edited for publication by Dr Kathleen Priestman, who attended the course at the beginning of her medical career.