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Ian Forgacs: flamboyant and modernising president of the British Society of Gastroenterology

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 16 November 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4855
  1. Penny Warren
  1. London
  1. penny.warren{at}

Ian Forgacs

Credit: Helen Forgacs

Those at the 2016 awayday of the British Gastroenterology Society (BSG) did not expect Hamlet’s soliloquy to be on the agenda. But Ian Forgacs, the president, delighted in the unexpected. On the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, he performed the speech to a rapt audience. He was shrewd man with a disarming manner, and, as a colleague said, “He was born to be president. He handled it with aplomb.”

Forgacs worked to modernise the BSG and promote links worldwide, securing a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese Society of Gastroenterology. He was instrumental in delivering better training, including developing the specialty certificate examination, and he championed initiatives such as getting faster access to endoscopy.

Early years

Ian Christopher Forgacs was born on 13 October 1951 in Bromley, Kent. His mother, Eileen, was a nurse and his Hungarian father, Paul, a chest physician.

Forgacs and his younger brother, David, attended Sevenoaks School, where he …

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