Intended for healthcare professionals


Barry Ian Hoffbrand: national leader in postgraduate medical education

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: (Published 26 June 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m2581
  1. Philip Graham, emeritus professor of child psychiatry
  1. Institute of Child Health, University College London, UK
  1. pjgraham32{at}

Barry Ian Hoffbrand was a national leader in postgraduate medical education. From 1980 to 1994 he was editor of the Postgraduate Medical Journal. In this position he created a viable and successful clinical educational journal to rival the best. In the view of his successors, it was “a reflection of his industry, dedication to quality and accuracy, and his wise editorial judgment that the journal came to occupy its successful position in the medical publishing world.”

Barry’s experience in postgraduate education was developed locally in his position as consultant physician to the Whittington Hospital, in north London. This hospital had a long tradition of providing excellent training in postgraduate medicine. Eventually an academic centre for postgraduate medicine was established there, and Barry was its director from 1975 to 1981. In this capacity he helped countless junior doctors succeed in passing challenging postgraduate medical examinations.

Whittington Hospital

After his appointment as consultant to the Whittington in 1970, Barry rapidly built up a reputation as a brilliant diagnostician and wise medical opinion. Over his nearly 30 year tenure in this post, he came to be regarded as the physician other doctors would consult about their own medical problems. Especially in the days before imaging made diagnosis of conditions such as endocarditis much easier, he was able to work out what was wrong with patients when other …

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