Robert Marius Foster

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 06 January 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:f7518
  1. James Foster

After junior posts, Robert Marius Foster (“Roy”) spent two years in national service in the Royal Navy and then the Royal Naval Reserves as surgeon lieutenant and then surgeon lieutenant commander. He returned to Edinburgh in 1953 as registrar and then clinical tutor in medicine.

In 1957 he joined the government of Kenya as a senior medical specialist and latterly physician to the country’s first president. In 1972 he returned to the UK as head of clinical research at 3M-Riker Laboratories. In 1974 he moved to the Rashid Hospital, Dubai, as head of the medical department and physician to the ruling family, and in 1977 he became consultant physician at Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal Hospital in Riyadh. In 1978 he returned to the UK as consultant physician on the Isle of Wight.

An outstanding tropical physician, he published landmark papers on hypertension, megaloblastic anaemia, and multiple sclerosis and led the Medical Research Council’s trials on tuberculosis in Kenya.

A gifted sportsman, he represented Edinburgh University at rugby and athletics; Heriot’s, Hawick, and Eastern Counties at rugby; and, in 1967, Kenya at golf.

A devoted family man, he leaves his wife, Rhona; three children (one a doctor); and six grandchildren.


Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:f7518


  • Consultant physician Isle of Wight (b 1924; q Edinburgh 1946; RD FRCP Edin), d 5 Oct 2013.

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