Lives of the fellows

Arthur Jacob Karlish

b.29 October 1912 d.28 February 1992
MD Rome(1936) MRCS LRCP(1948) MRCP(1949) FRCP(1970)

Arthur Karlish was born in Kalusz (or Kalisz), Poland, - then in Germany - where his father Moses Karlish was in business. He studied medicine in Rome but as a foreigner he was unable to practice permanently in Italy and he went to India shortly before the outbreak of the second world war. He built up a large practice in Lahore, working as a company doctor from 1939-42. He then joined the RAMC and served as a medical specialist with the rank of captain from 1942-46.

In 1947 he came to the UK and qualified at Guy’s Hospital in 1948. Following posts as house physician and registrar at Hammersmith Hospital and medical registrar at St Charles’ Hospital, Kensington, he obtained his membership of the College and became a consultant to the Reading Group of hospitals until his retirement in 1977. He published many papers and was a familiar presence at the Royal Society of Medicine. Arthur had a long standing interest in sarcoidosis, his knowledge of which was encyclopaedic. After his retirement he served on medical boards in London. He maintained his interest in medicine and was a regular attender at the Reading postgraduate medical centre.

Arthur Karlish had a keen intellect and read voraciously, having a catholic taste. He was a great raconteur and enioyed entertaining, which he did with consummate skill alongside his wife. They married in 1937 and had two children, a daughter Irene and a son Steven. His wife was also medically qualified in Rome. His final years were dogged by the sadness of his wife’s Alzheimer’s disease, from which she died in 1988, and his own affliction of severe giant cell arteritis.

JRW Lyall

[Brit.med.J., 1992,305,112]

(Volume IX, page 283)

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