Lives of the fellows

Vincent Kirwan Summers

b.3 June 1914 d.7 May 1975
MB ChB Liverp(1938) MD(1943) MRCP(1944) FRCP(1969)

Vincent Kirwan Summers, the son of Mary Kirwan and Michael Summers, was born in Bootle, near Liverpool. He was educated at St. Francis Xavier’s School, Liverpool, and went on to Liverpool University in 1932, where he graduated six years later. After house officer appointments at Walton Hospital and the Stanley Hospital, Liverpool, he entered general practice in Bootle immediately before the outbreak of war in 1939. He remained in general practice throughout the war years, serving his patients well in an area which was subjected to heavy enemy bombing. He proceeded to MD in 1943 and in the later war years was appointed part-time medical registrar to Liverpool Royal Infirmary. In 1945, whilst still in general practice, he passed the Membership examination. At the end of that year he retired from general practice and was appointed assistant physician to Walton Hospital, Liverpool. The following year he met Professor H.L. Sheehan and there followed a most fruitful friendship which culminated in their paper The Syndrome of Hypopituitarism’, published in the Quarterly Journal of Medicine in 1949.

His main academic interests remained in endocrinology and are reflected in his many contributions to the literature over the years and his appointment as consultant physician to the University of Liverpool Endocrine Research Unit in 1960.

Vincent Summers was an active member of the Liverpool Medical Institution, serving on the Council from 1963 to 1964, and was elected Vice President the following year. He always enjoyed undergraduate teaching and was appointed the first clinical sub-dean at Walton Hospital in 1974, and following the reorganization of the Health Service, he represented the University on the Sefton Area Health Authority.

His main recreation took the form of frequent visits to the Memorial Theatre at Stratford and, in the later years of his life, he seldom missed the Shakespeare productions there. He enjoyed golf and in the year of his death was elected captain of the West Lancashire Golf Club.

In 1943 he married Sarah Veronica Mabbs. They had two sons, the younger, R.O.C. Summers, becoming a consultant physician in Kidderminster.

IK Brown

[Brit.med.J., 1975, 2, 564; Lancet, 1975, 1, 1254]

(Volume VI, page 427)

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