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Biographical entry Tod, Hunter Finlay (1870 - 1923)

MRCS Feb 13th 1896; FRCS June 9th 1898; LRCP Lond 1896; BA Cantab 1892; MA MB 1896; MD 1907.

15 September 1870
23 January 1923
ENT surgeon


The second son of David Tod, JP, of Eastwood Park and Hartfield, Renfrewshire, was born at Partick, Glasgow, on Sept 15th, 1870. He was educated at Clifton College and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was admitted a Pensioner on May 27th, 1889, and graduated with 1st Class Honours in the Natural Science Tripos in 1892. At the London Hospital he won the Surgical Scholarship in 1895. He was House Surgeon under Sir Frederick Eve and House Physician under Sir Stephen Mackenzie and Dr Gustave Schorstein. At the same time he was prominent in the Hospital football team, having also played half-back at Rugby football for his College at Cambridge.

After taking the Fellowship Tod determined to take up aural surgery and studied for a year at Halle. He then became Senior Resident Medical Officer to the Throat Hospital in Golden Square. Going again to the Continent, he went through a further prolonged course of study under the great aural surgeons of Leipzig, Vienna, and Berlin.

Returning to London in 1901, he was appointed Assistant Aural Surgeon to the London Hospital. This post was specially made for him, perhaps because he was regarded as being too young to become full Aural Surgeon. He was also appointed Surgeon to the Throat and Ear Department of the Children's Hospital, Paddington Green. In less than two years he was elected full Aural Surgeon to the London Hospital, and held office till his death, the tenure of his office having been extended for five years by the Committee of Management.

Tod practised at 11 Upper Wimpole Street. At the time of his death he was Senior Surgeon to the Ear, Nose, and Throat Department of the London Hospital and Lecturer in Aural Surgery at the Medical College. He was also Consulting Surgeon to the West Herts Hospital, and had been Examiner in Otology at the Royal Army Medical College and member of the Special Aural Board of the Ministry of Pensions. He was President of the Otological Section of the Royal Society of Medicine in the year of his death.

Tod is spoken of in warm terms by his friends, who knew him affectionately as 'Jinks' and loved him for his mercurial temperament and his vivacious boyish manners, while appreciating his sterling qualities. He was a true son of the London Hospital, in the interests of which, and especially of the aural department, he was tireless. There is no doubt that his efforts were largely instrumental in establishing a fine department. He was a skilled operator, particularly in the performance of mastoid operations, and it has been stated that he was the first surgeon in this country to perform a true submucous resection of the nasal septum.

He was a keen Freemason, and was a Founder and Past Master of the London Hospital Lodge.

He died on Jan 23rd, 1923, in one of his own wards in the London Hospital, among his friends and colleagues, after an operation for malignant disease of the larynx. He was survived by Mrs Hunter Tod, the eldest daughter of Dr Stanley Rendall, whom he had married in 1909, and by four children.

Diseases of the Ear, 12mo, plates, London, 1907. A much-used book.
"Diseases of the External Ear and Tympanic Membrane" in Allbutt's System of Medicine, 1908.
"Operations upon the Ear" in Burghard's System of Surgery, iv, 1909.
"Diseases of the Tympanic Membrane," "Adenoids," and "Nasal Obstruction" in Practical Encyclopaedia of Medicine and Surgery, 1912.
"Acute Inflammation of the Middle Ear" in Latham and English's System of Treatment, 1912.
"Treatment of Lupus and Tuberculous Diseases of the Ear, Nose and Throat by Inoculation" (with G T WESTERN) - Practitioner, 1908, lxxx, 703.
"Removal of Adenoids in Infancy." - Ibid, 1920, cv, 335.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet, 1923, I, 257. Brit Med Jour, 1923, I, 216. London Hosp Gaz, 1922-3, xxvi, 110, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England