Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Hinman, Frank (1915 - 2011)

Hon FRCS 1989; MD Johns Hopkins 1941.

2 October 1915
San Francisco, California, USA
22 May 2011
San Francisco, California, USA
Artist and Urologist


Frank Hinman was a renowned American urologist, educator and skilful artist. He was chief of the urology service at San Francisco General Hospital from 1959 to 1977, and chief of urology at the Children's Hospital, San Francisco, from 1959 until his retirement from clinical practice in 1985. In addition to his busy clinical workload, he was active in teaching students and residents.

He was born on 2 October 1915 into a medical household, the oldest of five sons of Frank Hinman senior, the first trained urologist in California, and his wife Mittie née Fitzpatrick. After attending Grant and Galileo public schools, Frank junior started his medical education in San Francisco and graduated magna cum laude from Stanford University in 1937. Completing an MD at Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore, he remained in Maryland for internships from 1941 to 1942, before undertaking two years of surgical residency at the University of the Cincinnati College of Medicine under Mont Reid.

Enlisting in the US Navy, he served initially with the Seabees, the construction battalions, in the Pacific sector of the Second World War. He was later a medical officer on the aircraft carrier Intrepid.

Following his demobilisation, he undertook a urological residency on the University of California rotation, before joining his father in private urological practice and gaining hospital appointments. In addition to a heavy clinical workload, he was active in research. His studies of bladder defence mechanisms, supported for over 17 years by a National Institutes of Health grant, led to a better understanding of many aspects of urinary infection. In the paediatric field his work on bladder dysfunction led to the recognition of the 'nonneurogenic neurogenic bladder' now called the 'Hinman syndrome'.

Frank Hinman was a prolific writer, and his clinical and laboratory work resulted in the publication of over 250 scientific articles. Numerous books bear his name, including the comprehensive book Benign prostatic hypertrophy (New York, Springer, 1983), and he personally wrote three definitive atlases: Atlas of urologic surgery (Philadelphia, Saunders, 1989), which was translated into German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese, Atlas of urosurgical anatomy (Philadelphia/London, W B Saunders, c.1993) and Atlas of pediatric urologic surgery (Philadelphia/London, Saunders, 1994), all with his own original drawings in conjunction with illustrator Paul Stempen. He was a specialty consultant to Stedman's medical dictionary.

Many honours came his way including the pediatric urology medal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Barringer medal of the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons, the Valentine medal of the New York Academy of Science, the distinguished alumnus award from Johns Hopkins and honorary membership of the Gold-headed Cane Society of the University College of San Francisco. The American Urological Association honoured him with the Hugh Young award and the Ramon Guiteras medal, and he received the William P Didusch award for his contributions to medical art.

He was a trustee of the American Board of Urology, a founding member and president of the Society of University Urologists, vice president of the American College of Surgeons and president of the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons, to name a few prestigious positions.
During quieter moments during his wartime naval service, Frank Hinman took up painting, which he continued to enjoy for the rest of his life. One of his works was published in Life magazine, two were used as cover illustrations for the Journal of the American Medical Association, and he held two 'one-man' exhibitions. In later life he switched to acrylic paint - 'because it dries quickly'.

He married Marion Modesta Eaves in 1948: they had no children. Marion shared her husband's love of sailing, and Frank was named yachtsman of the year in 1998 by the San Francisco Yacht Club. He was a keen member of the Bohemian Club and the St Francis Yacht Club.

Frank Hinman died on 22 May 2011 in San Francisco, the city of his birth and his outstanding career. His wife, Marion, predeceased him in 2006, as did all his brothers over the years. The family name survives through one sister-in-law, Mrs Alice Hinman and her children Alanson Jr, William, Robert F and Frank II. There is another surviving sister-in-law, Mrs Sally Lewis and her two children, Windermere Tirados and Dixie Lewis. Frank Hinman's body was cremated and his ashes were scattered on his beloved Pacific Ocean. A celebration of his life was held at the St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco.

N Alan Green

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from San Francisco Chronicle, 27 May 2011; biographical sketch Faculty Bulletin, University of California, San Francisco].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England