Lives of the fellows

Abdur Rashid Khan

b.31 January 1929 d.2 May 2011
MB BS Karachi(1956) DTM&H Liverp(1959) MRCP Glasg(1966) FRCP Glasg(1979) FRCP(1992)

Abdur Rashid Khan was a consultant physician in geriatric medicine in Telford, Shropshire. He was born in Nagpur, then in the state of Central Provinces and Berar, India. His father, Abdur Razzaque Khan, was a teacher, and his mother, Jamila Khatoon, was a housewife. In his family there were more than 25 doctors; his uncle served in the Indian Army Medical Corps during the First World War and a nephew is a member of the RCP.

In 1947 Rashid moved to Karachi in what was by now Pakistan. He qualified at Dow Medical College in 1956 and went to the UK a year later. He held junior posts in Sunderland, where he worked with Bill Davidson. When Davidson was appointed as a consultant geriatrician in Cambridge, Rashid followed him as a registrar in geriatrics. He moved to Portsmouth as a registrar in 1963.

In 1966 he was appointed as a consultant in geriatric medicine to the Royal Salop Infirmary and to Monkmoor Hospital in Shrewsbury, and was the first overseas graduate to be appointed to a consultant post in Shropshire. Rashid was a busy clinician, but never failed to do his best to help his patients and junior colleagues. He served on various regional bodies in the West Midlands, including the advisory geriatric and higher awards committees. Locally, he supported Age Concern and ran self-help groups for the elderly, as well as Crossroads Care, a home respite care service. He was president of the Shropshire branch of the British Medical Association from 1974 to 1976, a body he served on most assiduously. In fact, Rashid was the one person to attend meetings of the BMA when other colleagues declared that they were too busy!

When the Princess Royal Hospital opened in 1989 in Telford (east Shropshire), Rashid moved his major commitment there and became a general physician with a special interest in geriatrics. He retired in 1993 but continued to do consultant locums in various hospitals up and down the UK.

Rashid possessed an ‘old fashioned’ manner: he was quiet and courteous, but at the same time firm with a great sense of rectitude. His support for the newly opened hospital in its sometimes difficult early years was unwavering. I really only got to know Rashid when we both moved to Telford and his support was incalculable. As a member of his family recently said, Rashid was a rock – utterly honest and dependable.

As I have said, Rashid was a quiet man and intensely private. Most of us knew very little of him outside medicine. Of course we knew of his love for cricket, but about his enthusiasm for music and in particular traditional jazz we were ignorant.

Sadly his latter years were plagued by a rapidly failing memory and the onset of severe dementia, and he spent his last years in a nursing home. Ironically, Rashid was particularly skilled at caring for patients with dementia; his quiet courteous manner calmed even the most agitated. He was survived by his widow, Najma, whom he married in 1961, and by a son and daughter.

TET West

(Volume XII, page web)

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