Lives of the fellows

Raphael Tepper

b.20 April 1916 d.17 August 1990
MB ChB Manch(1943) MRCP(1948) FRCP(1972)

Raphael (Ralph) Tepper, the son of a Mancunian Jewish tailor, received all his education in Manchester and the major part of his career was spent in and around that city. He was educated at the Manchester Central High School, Manchester University and the Manchester Royal Infirmary. He obtained his medical degree with honours, and distinction in pharmacology. His junior medical appointments were in Crumpsall Hospital, Manchester, and then in London where he was a medical officer in London County Council hospitals - St George-in-East Wapping, Mile End Hospital, and subsequently as medical registrar at the West Middlesex Hospital. In 1950 he left hospital medicine and spent a period of 13 years in general practice in Surrey, Kent, and later in Oldham, Lancashire.

In 1963 he returned to hospital practice in the developing specialty of geriatric medicine. He was appointed senior registrar in the geriatric department of Crumpsall Hospital, Manchester, under the consultancy of Ronald Dent, and in 1966 he himself became a consultant geriatrician in the Ashton, Hyde and Glossop group of hospitals. He moved to Bolton 18 months later, where he remained as consultant geriatrician for 14 years until he retired in 1981.

In the 1960s, geriatricians were breaking new ground and Ralph Tepper developed his service in Bolton with diligence, devotion and dedication. He was joined by Arup Banerjee, also a Fellow of the College and another dynamo, in the early 1970s and between them they made Bolton one of the most respected names in geriatrics in the north of England. In addition to being a careful and caring clinician, Ralph Tepper was also a vociferous and determined negotiator and manager. He was never hesitant in expressing his convictions and never faltered in practising what he preached. He was not an establishment figure but was well respected by his colleagues and was a warm, helpful and understanding individual in his more intimate circle.

He served on the council of the British Geriatrics Society, and as chairman of the division of medicine in Bolton. He did his stint with the health advisory service and chaired the Bolton health care planning team for the elderly. He was also closely involved in the Bolton Medical Society. In his earlier years, he published papers on uveoparotid syndrome, localised bone absorption, and a rationalized general practice group experiment. In his later years he undertook a good deal of lecturing and teaching in the community, particularly among organizations concerned with the welfare of the aged.

His wife Rachel, whom he married in 1950, was a fellow medical graduate of Manchester University and they had two children - a son and a daughter. His family life was very important to him and kept separate from his professional work. Outside medicine, he enjoyed golf and had a keen interest in and appreciation of music; the latter almost obligatory in Manchester. He was also a staunch member of the Manchester Jewish community.

J C Brocklehurst

[Brit.med.J., 1990,301,1211]

(Volume IX, page 512)

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