Philip Hopkins

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 23 August 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:404
  1. Paul Foster

    GP pioneer of patient centred medicine

    When he was a 7 year old boy, Philip Hopkins made his decision to become a doctor, inspired by the surgeon looking after him who presented him with a Book of Heroes. Philip went on to a fulfilling career spanning five decades. He also became an inspiration for others. These early themes, determination, courage, and inspiration informed his entire professional life, and in challenging times sustained him personally.

    Philip Hopkins was a founding member of the Royal College of General Practitioners and was awarded its fellowship in 1969. He was the founder and first president of the Balint Society. He was also a founding member of the Psychomatic Research Society. He pioneered cryosurgery in general practice in the United Kingdom and was elected a fellow of the American College of Cryosurgery. He was a dedicated man who enjoyed wide ranging professional interests, and for whom medicine and general practice was a way of life.

    Philip began his training in medicine at Guy's Hospital during the second world war. At this time he took on additional duties as an air raid warden and was stationed on the roof of the hospital. There he spent many nights kicking away firebombs in the available 10 s before explosion, a different sort of training and not for the fainthearted. This seemed to set the scene for all that lay ahead because in his lifelong dealings with the National Health Service, with colleagues, and …

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