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Biographical entry Sharp, Malcolm (1933 - 2014)

MRCS LRCP 1956; MB BS London 1956; FRCS 1961.

30 June 1933
13 July 2014
ENT surgeon and Head and neck surgeon


Malcolm Sharp was a consultant ENT surgeon with a special interest in head and neck surgery at St Helier Hospital, Carshalton, St George's Hospital, Tooting and the Royal Marsden Hospital, London. Following a visit to the United States to Duke University, North Carolina and Penn University, Philadelphia, he introduced, for the first time in UK, day surgery at St Helier Hospital for a range of ENT operations, including tonsillectomy.

He was born on 30 June 1933 at Queen Charlotte's Hospital, London, the second child of Abraham Sharp (known as 'Arthur'), who managed a shoe shop, and Deborah Sharp née Zack. Having started in primary school in Stamford Hill, London, he, with the onset of the Second World War, was evacuated with his older sister, Sybil, to Yaxley near Cambridge. Later he won a scholarship to Westminster City School. Trained at University College Medical School, where he successfully produced a Christmas show entitled 'The fallopians', he qualified in 1956 and was appointed as a house physician in Newcastle, before returning to University College Hospital as a house surgeon. Malcolm Sharp then gained experience in general surgery and orthopaedics. He was influenced by Peter London at the Birmingham Accident Hospital and by Norman Tanner at Charing Cross Hospital.

With this strong background in general surgery and orthopaedics, Malcolm Sharp decided that his anatomical surgical field should be the head and neck. To this end he was trained at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, Gray's Inn Road and was influenced by Donald Harrison.

Malcolm Sharp was first and foremost a clinician; he chaired his district management team and took part in teaching medical students from St George's Hospital. He enjoyed travel, particularly within Europe and the USA, was a sociable, humorous man who loved the company of family and friends, and was a keen and knowledgeable gardener. He liked music, in particular opera, and was an enthusiastic painter and photographer.

In June 1966 he married Deborah ('Dodi') Bierer, who later became a consultant anaesthetist at St Helier Hospital, Sutton Hospital and the Nelson Hospital in Wimbledon. She lived in Israel for 17 years and served as a sergeant in the Israeli army for two years, before going to the UK to read medicine at the Charing Cross Medical School, qualifying in 1964. She represented the fifth generation of doctors in her family. They had three children - Amanda, co-founder of the Frieze Art fair, Julia, a specialist in European Union/competition laws and Gideon, a corporate city lawyer. There are eight grandchildren.

Malcolm Sharp died from hepatocellular cancer on 13 July 2014. He was 81.

Dodi Sharp
Julia Woodward-Carlton
Neil Weir

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2014 349 5169 - accessed 20 October 2016].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England