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Biographical entry Smith, Robin Barker (1946 - 2000)

MRCS and FRCS 1975; MB ChB Leeds 1969; ChM 1979.

22 August 1946
Furness, Cumbria
24 May 2000
General surgeon


Robin Smith was a consultant general surgeon to the Royal Hospital, Bath. He was born in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, on 22 August 1946, the son of Arthur Smith, a head gardener, and Mary née Thompson. He attended Ulverston Grammar School and Leeds University. After junior posts in the professorial department of surgery at Leeds General Infirmary, under John Goligher and David Johnston, ending as registrar on that firm, he was appointed to the Oxford surgical rotation. He was appointed clinical tutor and honorary senior registrar in 1975 and became a lecturer in vascular surgery in the Nuffield department of surgery under Peter Morris. There he won Wellcome, Fulbright and Philip Allison fellowships, which enabled him to spend a year at Northwestern University in Chicago.

In 1981 he was appointed consultant general surgeon to the Royal United Hospital, Bath, and later became clinical director of surgery. From 1994 onwards he suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, but continued to work even when in pain. He was a special adviser to the NHS ombudsman and was closely involved with the new Royal United Hospital. He was an enthusiastic liveryman of the Society of Apothecaries.

His first marriage to Judith Anderson, a nurse, was dissolved and he subsequently married Carol Peden, an anaesthetist. He had two children, Victoria and Matthew. He suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage and, despite successful intubation at home by Carol, he died, after a few days, on 24 May 2000.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2001 322 867, with portrait; information from Victoria Smith].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England