Lives of the fellows

Thottuvai Ramaiyer Srinivasan

b.28 November 1933 d.28 March 2006
BSc Leeds(1971) MB ChB(1974) MRCP(1978) FRCP(1992)

Thottuvai Ramaiyer Srinivasan (‘Srini’) was a consultant in geriatric medicine at St James’s University Hospital, Leeds. He was born in Trichur, Kerala, India, the son of Koovappadi Parameswaraiyer Ramaiyer, an air pilot and estate manager, and Calicut Anantharaman Seethalaxmi, a housewife.

He became an engineer on Indian railways, but, deciding he wanted to see the wider world, he went to the UK when he was 29. He endured some severe hardships, including hunger and homelessness, but eventually found work as a labourer on the M1 and the Underground. He then became a laboratory technician, studied for A levels in the evening, and was eventually accepted onto the Leeds medical course, qualifying in 1974, in his early forties. While at Leeds he gained a BSc in biochemistry and the James Jameson prize and medal in anatomy.

He was a house physician and house surgeon at St James’s, and then became a senior house officer at Pinderfield Hospital in Wakefield. He held locum registrar posts, and then became a registrar in general medicine at St Luke’s Hospital, Bradford. From 1978 to 1979 he was a senior registrar in geriatrics at St Luke’s, under Roy MacCuish [Munk’s Roll, Vol. IX, p.332]. He was then a senior registrar at St James’s Hospital, Leeds.

In 1980 he was appointed as a consultant physician in geriatric medicine at St James’s. With former workhouse wards, few staff and many beds, conditions were hard, but he gradually transformed the service. He was responsible for seven and a half wards, as well as working in two day hospitals, and carried out home visits until late into the evening. During his years as a consultant he became the backbone of the department. He retired in 1993, but continued to carry out locums at St James’s, despite increasing frailty.

Outside medicine, he was interested in computers, gardening, steam engineering and working models. He continued to learn, completing an Open University mathematics degree, and read widely.

In 1979 he married Veronica Anne Srinivasan, a health visitor. They had two sons.

RCP editor

[Brit.med.J., 2006 333 605]

(Volume XII, page web)

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