Lives of the fellows

Bernard Goldberg

b.23 November 1924 d.25 February 2000
MB BCh Wits(1947) MD(1954) MRCP(1954) FRCP(1972)

Bernard, or ‘Ben’, Goldberg pioneered nephrology in South Africa. He was born in Johannesburg, the son of Aaron Goldberg, a company director, and Anne née Katz, the daughter of a merchant. He was educated at Jeppe High School in Johannesburg and then studied at Witwatersrand University, qualifying in 1947.

From 1948 to 1949, he held junior house physician and surgeon posts at the Johannesburg and Baragwaneth hospitals. From 1949 to 1950 he was a senior house physician and clinical assistant and then, from 1950 to 1953, a medical registrar, at Johannesburg General Hospital and the University of Witwatersrand. In 1954 he went to the UK, where he was a medical registrar at Bomley Chest Clinic, and gained his MD and MRCP in the same year. He was subsequently a Leverhulme research scholar at Middlesex Hospital Medical School, London.

In 1956 he returned to South Africa, where he was a specialist physician in Johannesburg. He became a part-time lecturer in the department of physiology at the University of Witwatersrand. From 1958 he was a physician on the peripheral vascular clinic, Johannesburg General Hospital and the University of Witwatersrand. He later joined the renal unit. During this period he started peritoneal dialysis there in 1962.

In 1966 he went to the USA, where he was chief of the section of medicine, at the renal disease and hypertension and dialysis unit, V A Hospital, Hines, Illinois, and as assistant professor of medicine at the Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University, Chicago.

Two years later, in 1968, he returned to South Africa. He was principal physician and head of the renal unit at the department of medicine, University of Witwatersrand and Johannesburg Hospital, and a major pioneer in the development of renal transplantation in South Africa.

He left full-time hospital work in 1972 for private practice, but continued to hold a part-time appointment until he left for Israel in 1974. He was appointed head of the department of medicine at Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, where he served with distinction from 1978 to 1979.

On returning to South Africa in 1979, he entered private practice, but again was involved in academic medicine, through his appointment as a part-time physician at the Helen Joseph Hospital, where he remained until his retirement in 1999.

He was a member of the International Society of Nephrology, the European Dialysis and Transplantation Society, the South African Transplantation Society and the South African Renal Society, of which he was president from 1969 to 1971. In 1979 he founded the South African Hypertension Society.

He married Maisie Louisa née Morris, the daughter of Alec Morris, in 1953. They had two children, a son and a daughter. He died whilst staying with his daughter in Ontario, Canada.

RCP editor

[SAMJ, October 2000, Vol.90, No.10]

(Volume XII, page web)

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