Lives of the fellows

Bernard Laurence Pimstone

b.30 May 1933 d.5 January 1979
MB ChB Cape Town(1955) MD(1962) MRCP(1963) FRCP(1974)

Bernard Laurence Pimstone, son of Dr Mark Pimstone and his wife Gertrude, of Cape Town, died at the age of 45, but already with an international reputation in endocrinology. He had been educated at the SA College High School, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital. His student career was distinguished by the award of first class honours in surgery (1955) and the gold medal in medicine (1953). Later he was awarded a Cecil John Adams travelling fellowship, and Eli Lilly and the Ernst Oppenheimer overseas advanced study grants. With the benefit of these valuable and well deserved awards, he earned for himself a reputation as an authority in several adjacent fields of endocrinology.

When appointed to the joint staff of the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, he became head of the thyroid clinic and director of the isotope and immunoassay laboratories of the department of medicine. His record of some sixty scientific publications and contributions to international congresses and study groups led to his becoming an international authority in his field, which included endocrine disturbances in malnutrition. His own university elected him to a permanent research fellowship and later to a personal chair. He carried out the other parts of his joint responsibility to the University and the hospital with enthusiasm and expertise, and in spite of his rather shy manner was popular with patients, students and staff. He was an excellent clinician.

Bernard had a very happy home, a devoted wife and three children. Shortly before his final illness he had been invited to attend a Kroc Foundation symposium on ‘Hormones of the Gut and Brain’, and had been invited as a guest speaker to the International Diabetes Federation Congress to be held in Vienna in 1979. Sadly he died of a slowly fatal disease, which he bore with courage and fortitude.

JF Brock

[Lancet, 1979, 1, 451]

(Volume VII, page 469)

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