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Biographical entry Perdikis, Phoebus (1933 - 2011)

MB BCh Witwatersrand 1957; FCS (SA) 1966; FRCS Edin 1968; FRCS 1969.

1 July 1933
Johannesburg, South Africa
3 June 2011
General surgeon


Phoebus Perdikis was an eminent general surgeon in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was born in Johannesburg on 1 July 1933, the son of Costa Perdikis, a manufacturer of sweets, and Amalia Perdikis née Sauuides, both members of the South African Greek community. He was educated at Park School and Forest High School, and then went on to study medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand.

He qualified in 1957 and, after house posts, went to the UK. He worked at Orpington Hospital as a registrar, and gained fellowships of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and England, in 1968 and 1969 respectively.

In 1969 he returned to South Africa. He worked at Baragwanath Hospital and Johannesburg General Hospital and then went into private practice. He was also a part-time surgeon attached to the department of surgery at the University of the Witwatersrand. He never took retirement, and worked until his death.

At the Witwatersrand he regularly attended weekly meetings and ward rounds, was an inspirational teacher and an examiner in surgery for the MB BCh final examinations. He also generated substantial research funds for the department from his association with the freemasons.

In 1991 he arranged and directed the first laparoscopic surgical course in Johannesburg, and encouraged fellow surgeons to attend. Later, he was a founding member and president of the South African Society for Endoscopic Surgeons.

Outside medicine, he had many interests, including philately, bird-watching and architecture. He designed his own home, based on a Tudor house he had seen in England. He played football while in England, and continued to be a sports enthusiast. He was also a collector, and maintained collections of chess sets and model motor cars.

Phoebus Perdikis died from a stroke on 3 June 2011, aged 77. He was survived by his wife, Francine 'Ine' (née Braam), whom he married in 1962, a son, Galen, a plastic surgeon in the USA, a daughter, Richardine, and four grandchildren - Luke, Tatiana, Blake and Sasha.

Sarah Gillam

Sources used to compile this entry: [ SAJS Vol 49 No 3 August 2011 p143; SAMJ Vol 101 No 8 (2011) - accessed 16 July 2014].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England