Honorary Degree for Dr James Robson, MBE

The University of Dundee bestowed an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, upon Scottish Rugby Union Chief Medical Officer Dr James Robson, MBE, at the Winter Graduation ceremony on Friday 16th November, 2018.

Every year students and staff at the TORT Centre form a captivated audience when they are treated to an extremely informative, humorous and inspiring lecture given by Dr Robson, entitled ‘Life’s a Pitch: the work of the team doctor’.

Some of you may already be familiar with Dr Robson from watching the 6-Nations Rugby tournament each year as he has been the Scotland Rugby Team Doctor/Physio and subsequently Chief Medical Officer for over two decades. He is not just rugby's most admired doctor, he is also its most experienced.

Dr Robson was a Dundee-based GP for 13 years before focussing his full attention to rugby with six World Cups from 1991 and six British and Irish Lions tours highlighting how highly regarded he is in world rugby. So much so that in 2010 he was awarded a Fellowship ad hominem from The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. This is an extremely rare accolade to be presented to an individual who is not a surgeon. The honour is awarded to those who are regarded by the College to have achieved distinction in their particular professional field and provided special service to the “art and science of surgery.”

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Left: What a front row! Dr James Robson flanked by Professor Rami Abboud and Mr Walter Williamson; Right: Dr Robson at the Dundee City Chamber

Dr Robson has also been at the forefront of injury research and received wide praise for his approach to player safety and welfare, highlighted most notably for his pivotal treatment of Will Greenwood on the Lions tour in 1997 and Scotland's Thom Evans against Wales in 2010, when he was credited with having saved Greenwood’s life and protected Evans from possible paralysis.

More recently Dr Robson has been an advocate of the essential need for better understanding and treatment of concussive injuries and in implementing a universal strategy for suspected concussion, which ties in with recently published research findings carried out at the Institute of Motion Analysis & Research (IMAR) at the TORT Centre in Dundee. See full story HERE >>>

Professor Rami Abboud, who had the honour to present Dr Robson’s oration for the honorary degree, stated:

“It was always going to be a remarkably tough job to try and summarise the life and achievements of such an inspirational and remarkable man in a few minutes to present a case to the Vice Chancellor for awarding the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

There is no one I know who is more deserving of this award than James. He is a valued member of our visiting teaching faculty here at the TORT Centre and is a staunch supporter of all the courses we run. The oration will eventually be on the University Youtube channel and I would encourage all those who are interested to know a bit of James’s outstanding career to watch it - we will provide a link here in due course.

It is a rather strange coincidence that as I type this at Edinburgh Airport Lounge bound for Heathrow on my way overseas, I bumped into James and his lovely wife Christine who happened to be heading to London on the same flight! Business as usual for both of us which meant me reminding James of the exam questions needed for the week after, sorry James!”