Lives of the fellows

Robin Sturtevant Pilcher

b.22 June 1902 d.10 July 1994
MB BS Lond(1927) MRCS LRCP(1927) MRCP(1929) FRCS(1930) MS(1931) FRCP(1964)

Robin Pilcher was professor of surgery and director of the professorial surgical unit at University College Hospital Medical School from 1938 to 1967. He contributed to the early development of thoracic surgery and helped establish vascular and cardiac surgical techniques.

He was born in Middlesex and educated at St Paul’s. He went on to study medicine at University College London, qualifying in 1927. His entire medical career was based at University College; he began his medical career with junior hospital appointments in the surgical unit and in 1938 was appointed professor of surgery.

His meticulous attention to detail made him a superb technical surgeon and an outstanding diagnostic physician. In the late 1950s he turned to the laboratory because of his interest in the surgical treatment of myocardial ischaemia. Initially this was treated by means of the Vineberg operation but later by direct anastomosis of the internal mammary artery to the coronary artery. He retired before he could be involved in the development of direct artery surgery.

He was interested in art and collected Chinese ceramics. On his retirement in 1967 he moved to Buckinghamshire, where he entered enthusiastically into the life of the village and the surrounding countryside. With his wife, Mabel Pearks, whom he married in 1929, he maintained a beautiful garden at their elegant 16th century home. They had three children.

RCP editor

[Brit.med.J., 1994,309,1656; RCS of England College and Faculty Bulletin, 1995,77,2]

(Volume X, page 387)

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