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Biographical entry Boctor, Helmy Bassili (1907 - 1961)

MRCS and FRCS 11 December 1941; MB BS Cairo 1932.

December 1907
Cairo, Egypt
10 September 1961
Thoracic surgeon


Helmy Boctor was born in Cairo in December 1907, the youngest child in a family of five. He was educated at the Maronite School, Faggala, and at "Fouad el Awal", Abassieh.

He studied medicine at the University of Cairo, qualified in 1932, and held several resident appointments at the Kasr-el-Aini Hospital. He obtained the Primary Fellowship at the examination held in Cairo in 1936.

In 1938 he came to London to take his Final Fellowship, which he obtained in 1941. From December 1941 to July 1942 he held the post of house surgeon at the Worthing Hospital, and was then appointed surgical registrar there. In this year 1942 he married. As his main interest was thoracic surgery, he visited many chest clinics in London and the provinces. He was appointed house surgeon and then registrar at the Brompton Hospital, the first Egyptian to hold this post, and worked for Sir Clement Price Thomas and Lord Brock.

At the end of 1944 he returned to Egypt and was appointed chest surgeon in the Egyptian Ministry of Health. He was a very progressive surgeon and performed many lobectomies and pneumonectomies, as well as the whole range of thoracic operations. He found he had just as good results by operating between the ribs instead of resecting a rib. He published his results in many journals.

Boctor was a member of the American Thoracic Society. He acted as an editor in 1948 of Excerpta Medica, the Dutch-American abstracting service. Besides his government work he operated at the Halion, Coptic, and Dar-el-Chefa Hospitals.

In 1956 he was sent by the World Health Organisation to England and Norway for three months for postgraduate study. He made a trip to Europe every two years to read papers on his special subject, and attended many congresses. In 1961 he travelled to Germany to visit the various heart clinics.

He was a cheerful colleague, who was deeply interested in thoracic surgery.

He died on 10 September 1961 of coronary thrombosis. His wife and their two daughters survived him.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England