Lives of the fellows

Sarosh Dhunjishaw Vakil

b.3 September 1933 d.4 December 2009
MB BS Lond(1959) MRCP(1967) FRCP(1979) FRCP Edin(1980) LLB

Sarosh Dhunjishaw Vakil was a consultant neurologist at Preston Royal Infirmary. He was the first Asian consultant to be appointed in the UK and one of only 70 consultant neurologists in the country at the time.

Born in Bombay, he was the son of Dunjishaw Jamshedji Vaki, a businessman. After attending St Mary’s European High School, he traveled to the UK to study medicine at King’s College, London and St George’s Hospital Medical School. After qualifying in 1959, he did house jobs in neurology at Leeds General Infirmary with Maurice Parsonage [Munk’s Roll, Vol.XII, web], and then at the Whittington Hospital in London. He then moved to the Hammersmith Hospital as a senior registrar, working with Christopher Pallis [Munk’s Roll, Vol.XII, web].

Appointed a consultant neurologist at Preston in 1973, he worked hard to establish, with E M Critchley, a well respected neurology unit, which attracted young trainees from both the UK and abroad. He was an enthusiastic teacher and avidly promoted them in their careers. Known in the area for his caring and effective approach, local practitioners often consulted him regarding their own and their families health problems.

In the early 1970s, he published, with D B Calne and others, several important papers on the therapeutics and cardiovascular reflexes in Parkinsonism. Later he wrote on the pharmacological aspects of treatment for epilepsy.

At St George’s he was a regular member of their cricket team and obtained his colours, playing also for the combined London hospitals. He continued playing cricket until he was in his early 50s. He enjoyed horse racing and was a keen Arsenal supporter. In later life, he studied for, and obtained, an LLB.

In 1967, he married Yasmine née Fahim, who was a general practitioner. Her father, Mohammed, was a civil servant. They had one son, Jimmy, who became a barrister in London. Yasmine predeceased him in 2004, and, when he died after a short battle against cancer, he was survived by his son, and sisters-in-law, Nichi and Parveen.

RCP editor

[BMJ 2010 340 1173 - accessed 12 March 2015; Lancashire Evening Post - accessed 12 March 2015]

(Volume XII, page web)

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