Elliot Philipp

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 03 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6095
  1. Marcus Setchell, honorary consulting obstetrician and gynaecologist
  1. 1St Bartholomew’s Hospital and The Whittington Hospital, London
  1. m.setchell{at}

A founding member of the British Fertility Society

Elliot Philipp was an obstetrician and gynaecologist with great intellect and many interests, which enabled him to develop a career of many strands. He had a great interest in learned medical societies. In 1972 a group of gynaecologists were attending a European meeting of fertility specialists, and Patrick Steptoe, of in vitro fertilisation fame, invited a small group of the British contingent to discuss the possibility of establishing a British Fertility Society. Elliot was one, and the following year an even smaller steering group met at the Royal Society of Medicine to draft a constitution and structure for the society.

Voice of fertility

Elliot was appointed acting secretary, and he organised the first clinical meeting of the society at the Royal Northern Hospital in March 1974. Twenty two founder members attended, and demonstrations of new techniques and operations were given, such as tubal microsurgery, laparoscopy, and male infertility surgery. The society was to have a membership of 75 practising gynaecologists, endocrinologists, or male fertility specialists. The aims were to arrange meetings of specialists and especially with other national societies.

By 1983 the society had agreed to expand its membership to include scientists working …

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