Ewan Cadman was born in London, the son of Frederick Cadman, a civil servant, and his wife Jennie Braithwaite. The family moved to Southport, Lancashire (now Merseyside) and Ewan was educated at King George V School, commencing his medical studies at Liverpool University in 1937. His studies were interrupted by a move to the United States in 1941, where he was awarded a Rockefeller Scholarship which enabled him to spend two years at an American university. Ewan spent these years at Washington University, St Louis, where he successfully sat the American final examinations, but the regulations governing the scholarship meant that the degree could not be conferred until the British qualification was obtained. He returned home and qualified MB ChB at Liverpool University in 1943, followed by the DCH and MRCP and MD(Liverpool).
After qualifying at Liverpool, he held appointments as house physician at the Liverpool Royal Infirmary and the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London, and later became medical officer at the Heswall Branch of the Royal Children’s Hospital. During his period of National Service, from 1946 to 1948, he served in the RAMC and then took up an appointment as medical registrar at the Liverpool Royal Infirmary. He was appointed lecturer in medicine in the University, a post which entailed clinical duties and carried the rank of senior medical registrar. It was about this time that, when being medically examined for life insurance, he was found to be hypertensive. This fact made him modify his future plans, as he had previously entertained ideas of a career in academic medicine.
In 1953 he was appointed consultant physician to the Southport Hospital Group, returning to his home town. It must not, however, be thought that he entertained any ideas of an easy life. He was determined to make his unit efficient, and he displayed notable drive in introducing new developments, including a coronary care unit. He also played a prominent part in forming a postgraduate centre associated with the Southport General Infirmary.
Ewan Cadman possessed the gift of clear thinking and quickly identified the essentials of a problem, either clinical or administrative. He was also extremely practical. He was very much a general physician and his interests were varied and wide-ranging. His publications included papers on lupus erythematosus, fainting, and phaeo-chromocytoma.
His political views could, perhaps, be described as somewhat left of centre, but in his hospital activities he was always impartial and worked for what he believed to be best for patients and hospital staff alike. He was chairman of the Southport Branch of the BMA from 1969 to 1970, and president of the Southport Medical Society in 1973. Outside his profession, his interests were archaeological and mainly devoted to local history. But he enjoyed swimming and could sail a yacht effectively.
His friends believed that he pushed himself too hard. It was only a year before his death, after he had suffered several setbacks in health, that he decided to reduce his activities and consider an early retirement. The end, however, came quickly and he died in the unit which he had been instrumental in starting.
In June 1951 he married Margaret, daughter of James R Armour, director of a timber firm. They had met at the Liverpool Royal Infirmary. They had three sons, the second of whom is medically qualified. An uncle is a consultant chest physician at St Bartholomew’s Hospital.
[Brit.med.J., 1980, 281, 1645]