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Biographical entry Kodicek, Jan Milan (1924 - 1986)

MRCS 1945; FRCS 1951; MB BS London 1946.

12 July 1986
ENT surgeon


Jan Milan Kodicek was born in Prague in 1924 but after the invasion of Czechoslovakia, while still a schoolboy, he was forced to leave his native land and seek refuge in Britain. He entered St Thomas's Hospital Medical School, qualifying in 1945 and after house appointments in general surgery and ENT surgery at St Thomas's Hospital he joined the medical service of the Royal Air Force where he was graded ENT specialist. After demobilisation he passed the FRCS in 1951 and decided to specialise in otorhinolaryngology; he was appointed registrar to the ear, nose and throat department of St Thomas's Hospital and later promoted to chief assistant.

In 1959 he was appointed consultant ear nose and throat surgeon to Chester Royal Infirmary where he introduced microsurgical techniques and had a special interest in the treatment of deafness due to otosclerosis. He served as technical advisor to the Department of Health and Social Security in connection with his interest in airway obstruction. He was an enthusiastic supporter of postgraduate educational activities and played an important role in the inauguration of the postgraduate medical centre at the Countess of Chester Hospital and served as Chairman from 1975 to 1986.

He was a keen skier and was awarded the British Ski Club Medal. He enjoyed travelling, good food, good wine, and the companionship of his colleagues and fellow men. In 1985 he was elected President of the North of England Society of Otorhinolaryngology and those who saw him leading the activities throughout the year would not have believed it if they had been told he was very ill. Not a moment of a holiday in Italy a few weeks before his death was wasted and three weeks before he died of leukaemia on 12 July 1986 he appeared to be in great form at the summer meeting of the Section of Otology in the Isle of Man. He was survived by his wife, Kitty and two daughters, Ann and Susan. One of his daughters became a successful journalist and the other a publisher.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet 1986, 2, 470 with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England