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Biographical entry Glashan, Robin Wattie (1933 - 2003)

FRCS ad eundem 1983; MB ChB Aberdeen 1958; FRCS Edinburgh 1963; FRCS Glasgow 1964.

8 September 1933
Aberdeen, UK
13 December 2003


Robin Wattie Glashan was a consultant urologist at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. He was born in Aberdeen on 8 September 1933, the son of Gordon Mitchell Glashan, a bank manager, and Alexandra née Wattie, an art teacher. He was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School, where he excelled at his academic work and at athletics. He went on to study medicine at Aberdeen University, graduating in 1958. He then held house jobs at Aberdeen City Hospital and at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

He initially moved to Shaftesbury in Dorset, where he worked as a general practitioner, but then resumed his hospital career. He was a senior house officer for a year at Stracathro Hospital near Brechin and then, from 1961 to 1962, taught anatomy and physiology at Queen's College, Dundee. He was then a senior house officer at Bristol Royal Infirmary. From 1963 to 1968 he was a registrar in surgery and then a senior registrar at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

In 1968 he was appointed to the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary as the first consultant in urological surgery, where he faced an enormous workload. He later organised a service for workers in the chemical and dyeing industries who were at risk of developing bladder cancer, working with experts in the field of occupational medicine. He was a founder member of the Yorkshire Urological Cancer Research Group in 1974, and of the urological group of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC).

He wrote many publications, including contributions on the use of cytotoxic chemotherapy for the use of invasive bladder cancer and on the epidemiology and management of occupational bladder cancer in west Yorkshire.

He was an examiner for the final FRCS for the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh from 1980 to 1986, and was on the council of the British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS) from 1982 to 1985.

He met his wife Wilma, a nurse, while he was at university and they married in 1959. They had two sons and two daughters - Robert, Susan, Moira and Angus. He retired due to poor health in 1991 when he was 57 and returned to Scotland, where he fished for salmon on the Dee. He died shortly before Christmas 2003.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2004 328 772, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England