Lives of the fellows

David Weitzman

b.1 November 1918 d.3 August 1964
MB BS Lond(1942) MD Lond(1947) MRCP(1943) FRCP(1964)

David Weitzman was born in London, the only son of Lazarus Weitzman, a draper, and Gerda, daughter of David Wetlaufer, a jeweller. From Hackney Downs Grammar School he entered St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School with a state scholarship to qualify with the Burrows and Skynner prizes in pathology, and spent a year in house posts before serving with the R.A.M.C, from 1943 to 1946. He was senior medical registrar at St. Stephen’s Hospital from 1946 to 1950 and then went to the National Heart Hospital where he was junior and then senior registrar. There he did postgraduate teaching and research in phonocardiography and quinidine before returning to St. Bartholomew’s in 1954 as medical tutor and casualty officer, and as assistant in the cardiology department with a Cooper and Catlin research scholarship.

In 1961, with an established reputation as a teacher, he was appointed consultant cardiologist, and despite a growing private practice worked long hours in close collaboration with the cardiac surgeons on problems that included the development of radio-active krypton in the localisation of shunts in congenital heart disease, and on clinical, angiographic and biochemical studies of coronary arterial disease. This led to the publication of many papers and lectures to learned societies at home and abroad, in which he was adept in explaining technicalities in simple language. This same ability was the basis of his popularity with patients and general practitioners.

Weitzman was gentle with his juniors, but could be outspoken to his seniors. Before the first of three cardiac infarcts that brought his early death his main hobby was horse-racing. Later, restricted activity made him turn more and more to music and the collection of modern paintings, but he remained a bon-viveur with a small company of friends whom he entertained with witty conversation.

In 1953 he married Sylvia, daughter of Samuel Schneiderman, a teacher. She died in 1961. They had no family.

Richard R Trail

[Brit.med.J., 1964, 2, 514, 1143; Brit. Heart J., 1965, 27, 132-3 (p); Lancet, 1964, 2, 369-70; St Bart’s Hosp.J., 1964, 68, 364-5 (p).]

(Volume V, page 439)

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