Lives of the fellows

George Frederic (Sir) Still

b.27 February 1868 d.28 June 1941
KCVO MB BCh Cantab(1893) MA MD(1896) Hon LLD Edin MRCS FRCP(1901)

Frederic Still was born at Holloway, the son of George Still, a surveyor of customs. He was sent to Merchant Taylors’ School and Caius College, Cambridge, where he was Winchester prizeman and graduated with first-class honours in the classical tripos in 1888. He studied medicine at Guy’s Hospital, taking his M.B, B.Ch, degree in 1893 and winning the Murchison scholarship in 1894. After a period at Guy’s as house physician, Still received the appointment of assistant physician to the Hospital for Sick Children. He rose to the highest rank both there and at King’s College Hospital, where he was elected assistant physician for diseases of children in 1899. In 1906 he was made the first professor of diseases of children at King’s College. His connection with the Royal College of Physicians was notable. He was Goulstonian Lecturer in 1902, Lumleian Lecturer in 1918, FitzPatrick Lecturer for 1928-29, and Censor from 1932 to 1933. In 1933, the year of his retirement from King’s, he presided over the third International Paediatric Congress, and four years later he was created K.C.V.O. and became Physician-Extraordinary to the King.

Still was perhaps the first doctor to devote his career to diseases of childhood. He had to his credit the discovery of "Still’s disease", announced in his M.D. thesis in 1896, the identification of the organism responsible for posterior basic meningitis, and the editorship of later editions of Goodhart’s Diseases of Children. He himself wrote Common Disorders and Diseases of Childhood, which reached a fifth edition in 1927, and a History of Paediatrics (1931), based on his FitzPatrick lectures, which revealed his familiarity with the historical background of his subject. He was inspired by a love for his young patients which was reciprocated in full measure. His industry and a natural reticence made him an aloof figure in his earlier years but, mellowing in later life, he allowed fishing and the classics and the companionship of friends to provide relaxation from his work. In 1931, on the centenary of King’s Medical School, he wrote Carmen Scholae Medicinae, which was set to music and sung at the celebrations.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1941; B.M.J., 1941; Lyle, 408; Biog.Hist.of Caius College, ii, 475]

(Volume IV, page 432)

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