Julian Thomas (“Tomi”) Spenser

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 01 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:265
  1. Shmuel Reis,
  2. Eva Alkon-Katz,
  3. Jim Shalom,
  4. Jonathan Spenser

    Julian Thomas Spenser (“Tomi”) was born in Vienna in 1927. The family moved to Prague in 1935. He was evacuated to England in 1939 on a Kindertransport . His mother perished in Auschwitz, and his father, the renowned poet Sonka, survived only to be killed in post-war Czechoslovakia. Tomi lived in England from his evacuation; he entered medical school in St Andrews in 1945.

    After graduation he served as a gynaecologist in the British Army. Not long after discharge Tomi married Dr Sheine Schwartzberg (Trinity College, Dublin), whom he met while doing a house job in London. In 1955 they moved to Lancashire to join Sheine's father's practice. For the next 10 years while generating their own nuclear family, Sheine and Tomi became part of a growing family practice in Leigh, Lancashire. During that time Tomi established a second clinic at “Higher Folds,” a nearby coal mining community neighborhood. It is no coincidence that he chose to create a change for a hard working mining community. His quest for social justice in provision of services characterised his initiatives from the start of his career. In addition, he was concerned about the structure of the medical service. He was persuaded to write Ailments and Remedies, a successful book for the Consumers' Association. During the following 10 years four children arrived: Jonathan, Esther, Miriam, and Benjamin. In 1966 …

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