William Norman Pickles (6 March 1885 – 2 March 1969) was a British physician who worked as a general practitioner and was the first president of the Royal College of General Practitioners in 1953.
He showed the opportunities available to GPs for epidemiological observation in two British Medical Journal (BMJ) articles in 1930, on 'catarrhal jaundice' and in 1933, on Bornholm disease. His observations reached a wider audience in his book, Epidemiology in Country Practice (1939). This contained pioneering work on the incubation periods of common infectious diseases of the time and earned him the reputation of one of the world's leading epidemiologists.
He was in practice in Wensleydale for more than 50 years, half of which time he spent recording his observations, thus proving that the rural general practitioner had great opportunities to make observations on disease.
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