Lives of the fellows

Robert Hunter Steen

b.1870 d.12 July 1926
BA RUI MB Lond(1894) MD Lond FRCP(1921)

Born at Belfast, the son of Robert Steen, Ph.D., Robert Steen was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and Queen’s University, where he graduated in arts in 1891. He then became a student at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, and took the M.B. (Lond.) degree in 1894. Having served as a house physician in his own Hospital and in the Brompton Hospital, he decided to specialise in mental disease, and obtained a number of appointments in mental hospitals — at a private asylum in Roehampton, at the West Riding Asylum and at the West Sussex County Asylum. In 1905 he was given the post of medical superintendent of the City of London Mental Hospital, Dartford, which he held till 1925. In 1906 he was elected demonstrator of psychological medicine at King’s College, and three years later succeeded to the chair. In 1919 he became outpatient physician for mental diseases at King’s College Hospital, and in 1923, when he resigned because of ill health, he was made consulting physician. The establishment of such outpatient departments in teaching hospitals was a cause which Steen supported strongly. He also held that asylums should be generally regarded as places for the treatment and cure of the mentally afflicted rather than for their confinement. Steen married Alice, daughter of Laurence Barnes, and had one daughter. He died at Bexhill.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1926; B.M.J., 1926; Lyle, 407]

(Volume IV, page 576)

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