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Biographical entry O'Gorman, Francis Joseph Patrick (1910 - 1992)

MRCS and FRCS 1951; MB ChB Glasgow 1932; FRCS Edinburgh 1937; MRCP 1944; MRCOG 1940; FRCOG 1969.

11 September 1910
10 December 1992
General practitioner, General surgeon and Obstetrician and gynaecologist


Frank O'Gorman was born at Bradford on 11 September 1910. No information is available about his forbears, but when he was ten years old his family moved to Glasgow where he was educated at the Jesuit School of St Aloysius before studying medicine at Glasgow University. An outstanding athlete, he played international soccer as a schoolboy and represented his university in four sports - track athletics, boxing, swimming and soccer. After graduating he spent several years in general practice at Doncaster in order to support his widowed mother and enable his sister to attend medical school. He later became an obstetrician and gynaecologist in Rotherham and at the Jessup Hospital in Sheffield. His general surgical career in Sheffield began in 1940 when he was appointed to the staff of the then City General Hospital.

During the second world war he served as a flight lieutenant in the RAF in Burma. On returning to Sheffield he took great pride in regarding himself as a very general surgeon and earned a reputation as a skilful operator on patients of all ages and with all manner of conditions. He was especially innovative in early vascular work, neonatal surgery and urology. Patients and hospital staff were captivated by his gentle manner and superb counselling skills. Sheffield medical undergraduates at first attended the City Hospital on a voluntary basis; but this modest and essentially self-effacing man, affectionately known as 'FOG', was an excellent teacher and the university appointed him as an associate professor of surgery in 1972.

His medical publications were as many and varied as his teaching. He had a wry sense of humour and was a firm and fair examiner. He was also a shrewd committee man who made significant contributions to the development of surgical services in the City. A bachelor throughout his working life, he had lived with a succession of Staffordshire bull terriers in a house in the hospital grounds and continued to play soccer for the hospital team. While walking his dog in the hospital grounds wearing his favourite old mac he never looked the part of a distinguished surgeon. It is said that, on one occasion, an arriving houseman tipped him for carrying his bags into the hospital only to discover later that he had tipped his boss! He was a director of Sheffield United FC and honorary physician to the Football Association and FIFA. He travelled with England soccer teams to many places around the world.

On retirement in 1975 he married and moved out of his hospital house but continued to take an active part in all his sporting interests and was a driving force in the introduction of sports clinics. He died on 10 December 1992, aged 82, and was survived by his wife Anne and his niece Veronica, who is a consultant anaesthetist in Glasgow.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Daily Telegraph 10 December 1993; BMJ 1993 306 645, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England