Lives of the fellows

Michael Christopher Bialas

b.11 October 1961 d.1 May 2006
BMedSci Sheffield(1985) MB ChB(1986) MRCP Edin(1992) FRCP(2002)

Michael Christopher Bialas, known as Mick, was a consultant physician and geriatrician at Cheltenham General Hospital. He was born in Huddersfield, the son of Michael and Rozalia Bialas. After attending Rastrick Grammar School, he studied medicine at Sheffield University, completing an intercalated BMedSci in 1985 and qualifying with his MB ChB in 1986. His pre-registration house jobs were undertaken at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. Junior rotations in medicine and geriatrics followed in Yorkshire, Wales and Jersey and he gained his MRCP in 1992. He was appointed as a consultant at Cheltenham in 1998, with additional duties at the Delancey Rehabilitation and Cirencester hospitals.

Mick had a quiet and unassuming character, but this concealed a sharp clinical acumen together with a strong sense of duty and care for his patients. He demonstrated a similar approach with junior staff and colleagues, always willing to help with clinical problems, or assist with postgraduate teaching. In particular, Mick showed special dedication in guiding many local MRCP diploma candidates on to exam success. He developed an early special interest in chronic fatigue syndrome and devoted a considerable amount of time to improving the management and care of this challenging group of patients.

Outside clinical work, Mick had eclectic interests ranging from football and horse racing to animal welfare. He was always very approachable with staff at all levels and, with his trademark broad grin, was just as comfortable discussing football or racing results with one of the porters as talking through a difficult clinical problem with a colleague. For many, he was regarded as more than a small authority on matters of the turf, though his modesty would not allow this to show. Less well known to many who knew him through work, was his concern for animal welfare as demonstrated by his support for a number of animal charities.

He was diagnosed with disseminated malignant melanoma shortly after the birth of his son in late 2005. Demonstrating enormous strength of character, he pursued all options in the hope of overcoming this diagnosis and returning to work. Even in the later stages of his illness he took great pleasure in the many small milestones that come with a new baby. He passed away peacefully with close friends and family in attendance. He was survived by his wife, Sophie (née Risebero), a consultant anaesthetist, and son Josh.

Rafe Chamberlain-Webber

(Volume XII, page web)

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