Lives of the fellows

Robert Bruce Sloane

b.28 March 1923 d.1 February 2007
MB BS London MD DPM FRCP(1974)

Robert Bruce Sloane was a psychiatrist who was chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of Southern California.

Born in Yorkshire, he was named after the fourteenth century Scottish King. He studied medicine at London University, to which he later returned to take his MD and the diploma in psychological medicine. After various house jobs, he did two years National Service in the RAF with the rank of squadron leader. On demobilisation he returned to spend a year at Queen Square followed by another at the department of neurology at Guy’s Hospital. He then joined the staff of the Maudsley Hospital as registrar and senior registrar in the unit run by Sir Aubrey Lewis [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VI, p.284]. He then travelled to the USA, having won a Fullbright scholarship to the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA, after which he returned to the Maudsley.

On his return to North America, he took up a post at the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal under the direction of Ewan Cameron whose controversial treatment of the mentally ill was later exposed in hearings before the US Congress in the 1970s. He then joined the staff of Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario as chairman of the department of psychiatry and also became chairman at Temple University in Philadelphia. In 1972 he was appointed chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of Southern California, retiring in 1993.

A prolific author, his publications included one of the first papers on catecholemines and mental illness. In many articles he discussed the new treatments of his day such as psychotropic medications and psychotherapy, which included early studies on the use of LSD. He co-wrote A general guide to abortion (Chicago, Nelson Hall, 1973) with D F Horwitz and with four others he published Pyschotherapy versus behaviour therapy (Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1975) which has been reissued in a later edition and translated into several languages. A later interest in diseases of the elderly generated another body of work.

He died after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for many years and was survived by his wife, Vera.

RCP editor

[Neuropsychopharmacology - accessed 29 May 2015]

(Volume XII, page web)

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