Lives of the fellows

Shans-ud Deen Bhanji Mohamed

b.24 June 1930 d.27 September 1981
MB ChB Glasg(1955) MRCP(1962) MRCPE(1962) FRCPE(1972) FRCP(1977)

Shans-ud Deen Mohamed was born in Kenya, the son of Bhanji Mohamed, a general merchant. He was educated in Nairobi and came to Scotland in 1949. He attended a technical college in Aberdeen for a year and then became a medical student at Glasgow University. He undertook his clinical studies at the Western Infirmary and graduated in 1955, gaining the Bruton memorial prize. In his pre-registration year he was appointed to both medical and surgical professorial units, and he stayed in Glasgow until 1959; first as Faulds research fellow and then as Hall tutorial fellow. He then spent a year as a medical registrar to the late A Brown at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria, and this appointment clearly had a profound impact on his life. While in Ibadan he set up the first controlled trial of anti-tetanus serum and enjoyed working in an expanding and developing medical centre. At that time there were many active research programmes based in Ibadan and he participated in a number of these.

On his return to Scotland, which he regarded as his adopted mother country, he worked at the Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen, until 1969. During this period he was seconded to the gastrointestinal unit at the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, for a six month period, working with W Sircus. He was a prolific research worker and developed an interest in therapeutics, as well as in haematology and gastroenterology. He published a number of papers covering his clinical interests and in 1980, although his health was already failing, he presented an important paper on carbenoxolone in gastric ulcer.

In 1969 he was appointed consultant physician and gastroenterologist to the Wythenshawe Hospital and was responsible for the establishment and development of a clinical and investigatory gastrointestinal service for his district, which also covered a wider area in south Manchester and north Cheshire. He became postgraduate tutor at the Wythenshawe at a time when the new hospital was being developed. Possibly his major contribution, for which he will be remembered, was the planning and establishment of a well equipped, modern postgraduate centre and library. In this he was greatly helped and supported by his wife, Jean, and together they devised a most imaginative centre from an unpromising collection of sitting rooms and small offices.

Deen had a brilliant brain and an incisive approach to his work and made a considerable impact at Wythenshawe. His clinical work at the hospital earned him great respect and his opinion was widely sought on difficult clinical problems, particularly those involving the gastrointestinal tract. He worked very closely not only with his physician colleagues but also with the department of surgery, and he arranged regular meetings between the medical, surgical, and radiological departments to discuss problems and for the further training of junior staff.

The sudden and unexpected death of his wife in 1977, from a catastrophic subarachnoid haemorrhage, caused him deep distress and his own failing health made life increasingly difficult for him. He continued to work prodigiously, however, and never spared himself, for he was a perfectionist. He continued his various clinical responsibilities until the time of his death. Towards the end he was less seen in the hospital but he kept in close contact with his junior staff and assumed very real responsibility for the care of his patients until the end.

Deen’s wife, Jean Constance Mary, was the daughter of Robert Addison, a haulage contractor. They had three daughters. In his younger days Deen enjoyed playing squash and throughout his life he derived great pleasure from books.

CL Bray

Sir Gordon Wolstenholme
Valérie Luniewska

[Brit.med.J., 1981, 283, 1182]

(Volume VII, page 403)

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