Lives of the fellows

Adolf Marcus Nussey

b.6 January 1905 d.17 March 1993
MRCS LRCP(1930) MB BS Lond(1930) MRCP(1932) MD(1932) FRCP(1950)

Adolph Nussey was born in Lwow, in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His father was Lazar Nussbrecher, a carpenter, and his mother Minnie Kunke was the daughter of a jeweller. The family came to this country in 1924 and Adolph entered the Middlesex Hospital, London, as a medical student. Following qualification and several house posts, he became a medical registrar at the Middlesex from 1932-35, and was subsequently appointed physician to the Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham He remained there for the rest of his professional career.

No man could have identified more wholeheartedly with his institution and his profession than Adolph Nussey. Though physically small, he was a giant among that generation of doctors who sustained the drive to secure full-time quality staff in local authority hospitals and whose ideals and commitment were crucial to the success of the NHS. Carrying a heavy clinical responsibility, he somehow found time to publish widely and spur the development of his hospital. He was an inspirational teacher and made deep friendships with many people.

A true friend to those who, like himself, aimed high, he had little tolerance for questionable motives. He was a fine example of a dying race - the general physician, deeply concerned for his patients, and many have cause to thank him for the example he set in those early days, not least his hospital.

In his last years there was no dim twilight, he was always very much alive. After retirement, his interest in medicine remained unchanged and his mind was as alert as ever. Among his leisure interests, he enjoyed gardening, chess, bridge and carpentry. Adolph Nussey was either fully alive or dead - he was not a man who knew half measures. There was something touchingly appropriate about his death: he drove to a friend’s house to play bridge, sat down in a chair and died of sudden cardiac failure. His wife Sue had predeceased him, dying in 1981. They had three children, Ian, Jane and Susan.

R D Blachford

[Brit.med.J., 1993,307,256]

(Volume IX, page 395)

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