b.19 December 1849 d.18 August 1918
MB CM Edin(1874) MD MSc Birm Hon LLD McGill St And FRCP(1887) Hon FRCPI JP
Robert Saundby was born in London and began his career as a tea-planter in India. Owing to ill health he soon returned home and took up the study of medicine at Edinburgh University. He was elected senior president of the Edinburgh Royal Medical Society and graduated as M.B, C.M. in 1874. Having acted as house physician both in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and in the Royal Hospital for Diseases of the Chest in London, he was appointed pathologist to the Birmingham General Hospital in 1876, becoming assistant physician a year later and full physician in 1885. He was also elected to the staffs of the Birmingham Eye Hospital, the Birmingham and Midlands Hospital for Women and the West Bromwich Hospital, and during the 1914-1918 War served in the 1st Southern General Hospital as a lieutenant-colonel. He was lecturer on comparative anatomy at Queen’s College and afterwards professor of medicine at Mason University College and Birmingham University. He gave the Ingleby lecture in 1894 and represented the University on the General Medical Council from 1905 to 1917. At the Royal College of Physicians he delivered the Bradshaw Lecture of 1890 and the Harveian Oration of 1917. He was president of the B.M.A. in 1911.
Saundby was the author of works on diseases of the digestive system, renal and urinary diseases, old age, and medical ethics. With a compendious knowledge of medicine, administrative ability and great energy, he combined an irritable and impatient temperament which detracted from his success as a teacher. Nevertheless his conscientiousness and thoroughness benefited both the General Hospital and the University. He married in 1880 Mary Edith Spencer of Wolverhampton and had three sons and a daughter.
G H Brown
[Lancet, 1918; B.M.J., 1918]
(Volume IV, page 325)
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