Dr Howard Charles Watts

22 October 1939, Melbourne – 29 July 2021 Kalamunda, WA

Dr Howard Watts, family physician, mentor, RACGP Censor, Practice Principal, to mention only a few of many positions is his long life, passed away, unexpectedly, on the 29th July 2021, aged 81 years.

I met Howard in the early 1980s when we co-examined for the RACGP at the old Children’s Hospital in Subiaco. I was a patient having a heart attack and had to look ill, which I did having covered my face in talcum powder to add pallor, to the extent that one candidate wanted to call the ambulance. Howard took it in his stride with his usual serenity and reassured the distressed candidate. What struck me when I first met Howard was his inner calmness, his integrity, his commitment, and his unwavering conviction about the importance of the GP’s role. He had a lifelong interest in obstetrics, but no area of medicine was out of bounds for Howard.

His five-decade career ensured that over the years he had come into contact with some of the legendary figures of the RACGP including Max Canning, who used to consult from 4.00 pm to 1.00 am, James Watson who ensured he always had the floor either by demeanour or due to the smoke rising from his pipe, and of course Max Kamien.  Howard’s inner strength was that all vicissitudes were taken in his stride and from each of these founding fathers, and many others, he learnt the craft of being a good General Practitioner from which his patients and the wider community benefited.

It goes without saying that everyone at the College will miss him, and we extend our deepest sympathy to his family and friends. May he rest in peace.

Clinical Assoc Prof Peter Winterton AM
10th August 2021