Lives of the fellows

Lionel Stein

b.26 October 1918 d.17 August 2008
BSc Cape Town(1937) MB ChB(1942) MRCP FRCP

Lionel Stein was a distinguished Cape Town physician. Born during the great flu epidemic that followed the end of the First World War, he was educated at the South African College Schools in Cape Town. He matriculated when he was 16 and immediately enrolled at the University of Cape Town. Passing his BSc in 1934, he qualified in medicine in 1942.

In the course of his National Service he served as a captain in both the South African and the British army medical corps from 1943 to 1946. He was in the army of occupation and served in various places in Italy and in Vienna.

When he was demobilised he spent some time in the UK and acquired the membership of both the RCP and the Edinburgh College of Physicians. In 1953 he returned to South Africa to set up in private practice among the poorer citizens of Cape Town. He treated each patient with great care and often only charged what they could afford.

Appointed to Groote Schuur Hospital in 1955, he later split sessions between there and the New Somerset Hospital. At both hospitals he took on a considerable amount of teaching and was well known for taking a great deal of personal interest in his students. He retired from the hospitals in 1992.

An omnivorous reader, he also enjoyed music, history and nonsense rhymes. He loved word games and had a great sense of humour.

When he was in the UK in the late 1940s he married Shirley née Steinberg. She died in 1972 and he later married Vivienne née Schrire. After a severe stroke in 2005 he was unable to read and barely able to speak. He died three years later, two months short of his 90th birthday.

RCP editor

[SAMJ 2009 99 862 www.samj.org.za/index.php/samj/article/view/3874 - accessed 25 April 2015]

(Volume XII, page web)

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