Lives of the fellows

Irvan Yentis

b.30 August 1923 d.30 August 2008
MB BS Lond(1947) MD(1950) MRCP(1951) DMRD(1953) FFR(1957) FRCP(1973)

Irvan Yentis was a consultant radiologist at the King Edward VII Hospital in Windsor. He was born in London’s East End, the son of Benjamin Yentis, a tailor, and Faye née Highbloom, the daughter of a fish dealer. He was educated at Parmiter’s Foundation School in London and then gained a scholarship to study medicine at Guy’s.

After junior posts in the Guy’s sector hospitals, he began his training in radiology. He was a trainee and then a registrar at University College Hospital, where he came under the influence and established a lasting friendship with John Hodson [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VIII, p.227], the director of the department.

He progressed to a senior registrar position at the Middlesex Hospital under Sir Harold Graham-Hodgson [Munk’s Roll, Vol.V, p.162]. It took some time for Sir Harold to establish that Irvan was the new senior registrar and not the new trainee who had started the same day. But all went after that. It was during this period that, rather to his dismay, he was urged by Campbell Golding to research and publish a paper on the ‘so called solitary plasmacytoma of bone’, and showed by assiduous case-tracing that all the recorded cases he could find had all showed disseminated disease later in their illness.

While at the Middlesex he was discomforted by a class of young student nurses to whom he had to lecture on the urogenital tract. Responding to questions, he stumbled deeper and deeper into function, finally getting the question, “How do spell ‘orgasm’?” He fled the classroom and arrived back in the department, demanding a stiff brandy.

He was appointed to Windsor in 1958. He spent his career there in the unsung but demanding role of a district general hospital consultant. But he was once called upon to X-ray Prince Philip following an ankle injury sustained during a polo match.

Irvan was a tall, slim, melancholy-looking man with a long face, looking very much like the comedian Denis Norden, and with a similar tone and style of speech.

He married Steffi née Friedmann in 1958 and they had two children. Their son is a consultant anaesthetist at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London.

Raphael Eban

[Brit.med.J., 2008, 337, 2651]

(Volume XII, page web)

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