Lord Patel of Dunkeld has become the first Scottish Asian to be awarded the Order of the Thistle.
The chancellor of Dundee University received the honour from the Queen in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
The award honours Scottish men and women who have held public office or made a significant contribution to national life.
It is the highest honour in Scotland and is second only to the Order of the Garter in the UK.
Lord Patel, 71, was born in Tanzania and studied medicine at the Queens College, St Andrews, now the University of Dundee.
He graduated in 1964 and went on to work at Ninewells Hospital for more than 30 years.
His academic and clinical interests were in high-risk obstetrics, and he published papers on pre-term labour, foetal growth retardation and obstetric epidemiology.
During his career, Lord Patel served as the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and led a number of other professional bodies.
He was knighted in 1997 and was made a peer two years later.
In the House of Lords, Lord Patel has been a member of the science and technology committee, and is currently chairman of the UK stem cell oversight committee, as well as chairman of the National Patient Safety Agency of England and Wales.