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Robert Miles Frankel

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 17 December 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7664
  1. Conor Ramsden

Robert Miles Frankel was born in Oldchurch Hospital, Romford, the first child of Eric (obituary at and Constance Frankel. He spent most of his formative years in Wanstead, then in Essex, now an eastern suburb of London, and attended the Forest School. By his own admission, he did not apply himself to his studies and was often to be found badger watching in nearby Epping Forest, perfecting magic tricks or playing the guitar. Despite this, he gained a place at the London Hospital Medical College in east London.

His proudest moments at medical school relate to his satirical coverage of new consultant appointments in the medical school magazine, where he also published a new anatomical acronym (HNABL: head, neck, arms, body, legs). While a student, he developed an interest in one of east London’s most infamous characters, Jack the Ripper, and scoured the hospital archives for new details.

After an elective in St Finbarr’s Hospital in Cork, he graduated in 1967 and did his house jobs at Poplar Hospital for Accidents in London’s Docklands, an area he always declared was the best training ground he could have hoped for. This set him up for a life of work as a generalist …

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