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Biographical entry Stern, David Michael (1903 - 1999)

CBE; MRCS 1928; FRCS 1932; MA Cambridge 1926; MB BChir 1929; LRCP 1928; FRCOG 1942.

22 October 1903
22 July 1999
Obstetrician and gynaecologist


David Michael Stern was born in Burton-on-Trent on 22 October 1903. His father was Arthur Landauer Stern, a chemist and brewer, his mother, Grace Madelein née Falck. He was educated at first at the Burton Grammar School, and then went with his younger brother to Clifton College, from which he won an exhibition to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. There he achieved a first, despite taking time off to drive a London bus during the General Strike. He went on to the London Hospital for his clinical training, where he won the Anderson prize. He qualified in 1928, and was house surgeon and house physician at the London. He won the Hallett prize in the primary FRCS, and then specialised in obstetrics and gynaecology, becoming first assistant to Sir Eardley Holland. It was expected that Stern would succeed Sir Eardley in 1934, but the older surgeon changed his plans when he lost money on the Stock Exchange.

Stern was appointed to the West Middlesex Hospital in 1935, and he continued there until he retired in 1968, although in 1944 he became severely ill with poliomyelitis. Stern was an Hunterian Professor in 1945. Together with his colleague Cliff Burnett, he published A modern practice of obstetrics (London, Balliere, Tindall & Cox) in 1952.

On his retirement, he took the appointment of Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Khartoum, a post he held for six years, his work there being recognised by the appointment as CBE.

He married Eileen Gildard in 1935; they had two daughters and a son, Colin, who became a consultant paediatrician. There are seven grandchildren. He died on 22 July 1999.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1999 319 1009].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England