b.16 November 1939 d.14 November 2013
MB BS Lond(1964) MRCP(1971) FRCP(1980)
Martin Seifert was a consultant rheumatologist at St Mary’s Hospital, London. He was born into an artistic Jewish family in north London. His father, Victor Max Seifert, was a GP in Palmer’s Green. His uncle, Richard Seifert, was an architect who designed the Centre Point tower in central London. Seifert was educated at Highgate School and then studied medicine at the London Hospital Medical School, qualifying in 1964.
He was a house surgeon at the London Hospital and then a house physician at the Whittington. In 1965 he joined Middlesex Hospital as a senior house officer in rheumatology, and then became a registrar in rheumatology at the same hospital. From 1969 to 1971 he was a registrar in general medicine at St Mary Abbot’s Hospital, Kensington. He then went to St Thomas’ Hospital as a senior registrar in rheumatology. During 1973 he was a research fellow and Wellcome Trust travel fellow in clinical rheumatology in the department of medicine at the University of Colorado, Denver.
In 1974 he joined St Mary’s, first as a chief assistant in the department of rheumatology and then, in the same year, as a consultant rheumatologist. Despite specialising in rheumatology, he was considered by colleagues to be a good all-round clinician. When in the 1980s St Mary’s became the centre for research into HIV/AIDS, Seifert worked with immunologists and genitourinary specialists, looking in particular at HIV and arthritis.
He also carried out research, and studied the link between a high concentration of IgA rheumatoid factor and wrist disease in rheumatoid arthritis. He also had an interest in systemic lupus erythematosus.
He was treasurer of the British Society for Rheumatology from 1984 to 1987, president of the section of rheumatology and rehabilitation at the Royal Society of Medicine in 1988, and honorary secretary of the Medical Society of London from 1994 to 1995.
Seifert was a great collector of art and books. His book collecting began at the age of nine, while he bought his first picture when he was a medical student. He had an interest in the history of gout, and collected caricatures of people with the condition, as well as other related ephemera.
In 1974 he married Jacqueline Evelyn Morris (‘Jackie’), a geriatrician and also a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. They had a son and a daughter. Martin Seifert died from acute myeloid leukaemia and post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder. His wife and children survived him.
[BMJ 2014 348 55]
(Volume XII, page web)
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