Lives of the fellows

Douglas Anthony Promnitz

b.11 August 1955 d.27 June 2013
MB BCh Wits(1979) FCP SA(1985) FCCP(1993) FRCP Glasg(1997) FRCP(2002)

Douglas Anthony Promnitz was a consultant physician in general and respiratory medicine at Ipswich Hospital. He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, into a medical family. His father, Douglas Noël Promnitz, was a medical practitioner, and his two brothers, Gregory and Michael, also became doctors. His mother was Constance Rita Promnitz. Anthony was educated at Florida Park High School, Roodepoort. He matriculated in 1972 with a first class pass and distinctions in mathematics and history, and then went on to the University of Witwatersrand Medical School. He qualified MB BCh in 1979.

He was a house officer in internal medicine and then in general surgery at JG Strijdom Hospital, Johannesburg. He subsequently moved to Pretoria, where he was a medical officer at 1 Military Hospital. From 1982 to 1983 he was a junior registrar in haematology and then in anatomical pathology and histopathology at the University of Witwatersrand Medical School. From August 1983 he trained in general medicine at Witwatersrand, qualifying as a specialist physician from the College of Medicine of South Africa in 1985. Thereafter he subspecialised in respiratory medicine and worked as a consultant pulmonologist and intensive care physician at J G Strijdom and Hillbrow hospitals in Johannesburg.

After a year as a senior specialist and clinical head of the respiratory and intensive care units at Hillbrow Hospital, in 1991 he was appointed as a principal specialist and head of the division of pulmonology at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. Whilst in this post, he helped develop the pulmonology unit into a training unit, expanded staff capacity, lung function and bronchoscopy services. He also trained interns and registrars in general and intensive care medicine. He impressed staff and patients with his fluency in Northern Sotho, a Bantu language.

In 1996 he emigrated to Scotland, where he was a consultant physician with an interest in respiratory medicine at Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Greenock. After three years, he moved to Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, where he established its first independent chest clinic, linked to Papworth Hospital. In 2003, he became a consultant physician in respiratory and general medicine at Ipswich Hospital, where he stayed until his early retirement due to ill health in August 2012.

Anthony Promnitz died from prostate cancer and was survived by his partner, Barry.

RCP editor

[BMJ 2014 349 4555 – accessed 8 November 2015]

(Volume XII, page web)

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