Robert Robins

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 18 May 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2407
  1. Anne Gulland, London
  1. annecgulland{at}

Orthopaedic surgeon who was instrumental in developing hand surgery

Robert Robins was one of the five founder members of the Second Hand Club, a group of young plastic and orthopaedic surgeons who were instrumental in the development and professionalisation of hand surgery in the UK. Robins and his contemporaries were unable to join the original Hand Club, whose 12 more senior members were keen to retain its exclusivity. The original group, which met at the Athenaeum Club in central London, was described as a “dining club with hand surgery as gossip.”

The young upstarts of the Second Hand Club had more lofty ideals, however, opening up their club to other members and launching their own journal, the Proceedings of the Second Hand Club. This became the Journal of Hand Surgery, the first journal devoted to the specialty. The two clubs eventually merged in 1964, and four years later became the British Society for Surgery of the Hand.

For most of his life Robins continued his interest in the society. He served as president and attended meetings right …

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