Lives of the fellows

Israel Woolfe Glick

b.21 February 1928 d.30 July1995
BSc Wits( 1954) MB ChB(1958) MRCP(1962) FRCP(1976)

Israel Glick, known as ‘Izzy’ to colleagues and ‘Ginger’ to friends, was born in Lithuania, but moved in early life to South Africa. He was educated at the South African College School in Cape Town before entering Witwatersrand University. He was the first student for forty years to graduate with first class honours and also received distinctions, prizes and medals in medicine and surgery.

He spent a year as a house officer on the professorial surgical and medical firms at the Johannesburg General Hospital before coming to the UK in 1960. Here he continued his training at University College, Whittington and Brompton Hospitals. He was appointed consultant general and respiratory physician at Whipps Cross Hospital in 1968 and was still working there, in a locum capacity, at the time of his death.

He staunchly supported the National Health Service but hated inefficiency or maladministration or anything that stood in the way of patient care. Humbug and ‘mission statements’ were not for Izzy, but despite this he more than did his share of hospital management.

He had a profound interest in medicine, continually rushing to his books to look up something new or something outside his specialty. He taught a full time firm of undergraduates as well as the twice yearly MRCP course. He also held weekly chest clinic meetings where through the years hundreds of junior staff had a grounding in the interpretation of chest X-rays. It was during a weekly clinical meeting in 1987 that he became aware of abdominal discomfort. He diagnosed leaking of his own abdominal aortic aneurysm and quietly left the meeting to drive to the accident and emergency department. Despite emergency surgery and a stormy post-operative course he was back into his routine within four months, doing his usual ward rounds and five clinics a week.

He eventually retired in 1993, but was soon back as a locum physician at Whipps Cross Hospital, doing out-patient clinics in respiratory medicine, cardiology, neurology and geriatrics.

He had wide interests outside medicine, particularly music, politics and debate. In his early life he played squash and sailed. He married Helen in 1958 and they had one son. He finally succumbed to recurrent aorta problems. He was Izzy to the last, asking to see his chest X-ray before being taken into the operating theatre at St Mary’s.

Martyn Partridge

[Brit.med.J., 1995,311,1159]

(Volume X, page 167)

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