General Internal Medicine
Designatory Letters: 
BSc Manc 1947, MB Manc 1950, MD Manc 1955, DLO Lond 1957, PhD Lond 1965, MRCP Edin 1970, FRCP Edin 1976

To those who knew him well Hinchcliffe was someone with expertise in clinical medicine, epidemiology, psychology, statistics, as well as being an inspiring teacher, a brilliant researcher and someone blessed with a dry sense of humour.

He graduated from Manchester University in 1950 then joined the Royal Air Force soon becoming head of the Air Force Acoustics Laboratory, working on hearing protection, forming the basis of his MD and leading to his life-long interest in noise-induced hearing loss. This led to his being an expert witness in many cases and was the key to the 1984 court ruling that employers would have to demonstrate that they had protected workers’ hearing.

Leaving the RAF to join the Medical Research Council he was awarded a Werner travelling fellowship which enabled him to work in the psychoacoustics laboratory in Harvard and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital., his time there forming the basis for collaborative work for the rest of his professional life with colleagues in the US and France, and much later in his distinguished career, in Thailand, China, Egypt, Philippines, Japan, Australia, India and across Europe.

His hundreds of papers covered a spectrum of topics at the heart of audiology from psychoacoustic, to clinical and psychological aspects of hearing and balance disorders, dramatically changing the lives of thousands of people. It has been said of him that “Hinchcliffe” and “hearing” became synonymous all over the world.

In 1977 he was appointed to a personal chair in audiological medicine at the Institute of Laryngology and Otology, University of London. In the same year he founded the British Association of Audiological Physicians, the in 1980 the International Association of Physicians in Audiology, subsequently holding high office in each.