Lives of the fellows

Isidore Philip Jaffe

b.31 March 1916 d.19 February 1990
MB ChB Cape Town(1938)DCH(1947) MRCP(1948)FRCP(1977)

Isidore Jaffe - always known as ‘Issie’ - was born in Cape Town and graduated in medicine from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, with honours in the second professional examination and the gold medical in pharmacology. With the advent of war in 1939 he joined the South African Medical Corps, with the rank of captain, and saw service in the East African campaigns.

After demobilization he held residency appointments at the Peninsula Maternity Hospital in Cape Town and the Transvaal Memorial Hospital for Children in Johannesburg, prior to postgraduate studies in England. He obtained his membership of the College in 1948 and became registrar at St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester, and at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, before returning to South Africa where, in 1956, he was appointed a senior consultant paediatrician at the Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, and the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. In 1972 he became head of a firm at the Red Cross Hospital. He was later elected a Fellow of the College.

Issie Jaffe was a dedicated clinician and an enthusiastic teacher. He formed one of a small cohort of paediatricians who helped to put paediatrics in Cape Town on a firm clinical and academic footing. In addition to his honorary clinical appointments to the academic hospitals, he also helped to establish the largest clinical practice in the city. He was an associate founder of the College of Medicine of South Africa in 1972, which embraced all specialties, and an examiner in paediatrics for its fellowship examinations.

He retired in 1981 and frequently returned to London where he was greatly sought after to fill locum posts in paediatrics. His visits increased in duration and he eventually settled permanently in England. He was honoured with an appointment as honorary life consultant to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in 1984.

In 1948 he married Vera née Weinreich, who was herself a doctor, and they had a son, a daughter and five grandchildren. Their son followed them into the medical profession.

In addition to his total commitment to medicine, Issie Jaffe was always a kind and genial father figure to children and their parents, as well as to his colleagues. He was a man of great integrity and honesty, with a generous spirit. He was both dedicated and loyal to his family and his wide circle of friends. Outside medicine, he enjoyed literature, theatre, ballet, music, the countryside and contract bridge.

V Dubowitz

[Brit.med.J.1990,300,1011]

(Volume IX, page 266)

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