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Biographical entry Starr, Philip Alan John (1933 - 2003)

MRCS 1956; FRCS 1963; MB ChB Birmingham 1956; DO Sydney 1961; MD 1965; LRCP 1956; LMCC 1957; FRCS Edinburgh 1963; FRCSC 1978; FRCOphth 1988.

Birmingham, UK
19 September 2003
Ophthalmic surgeon


Philip Starr, known as ‘Jimmie’, was a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital, London. He was born in Birmingham in 1933. After qualifying, he spent four years in Canada and then in Australia, studying ophthalmology at the Sydney Eye Hospital. He subsequently returned to England, where he continued his training at the Western Ophthalmic Hospital as a senior registrar and at Moorfields as a chief clinical assistant.

He was appointed as a consultant ophthalmic surgeon to the Royal Northern Hospital, and later to the Royal Free. He was a pioneer in the field of refractive surgery, and hosted a symposium at which Slava Fyodorov, the Soviet father of modern radial keratotomy, was an active participant.

He also established a successful cataract and glaucoma practice in Harley Street, taking on the patients of that doyen of ophthalmology, Sir Stuart Duke-Elder. He was a founder member of the Independent Doctors’ Forum, his particular interest being in the area of revalidation.

He had many interests, including playing tennis for the Midlands, classical music and reading. He died on 19 September 2003 from carcinoma of the lung, leaving a wife, Ruth, a daughter (Juliet) and two sons (Matthew and David), one of whom is an ophthalmologist. There are three grandchildren – Joshua, Ben and Malka Atara.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2004 328 232, with portrait.].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England