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Logo of bmjThis ArticleThe BMJ
BMJ. 2007 June 30; 334(7608): 1379.
PMCID: PMC1906662

Robert James Sanderson

Robert Sanderson (“Rob”) was an exemplary head and neck surgeon, specialising in the treatment of ear, nose, and throat malignancies. He was a proud Lancashire man, and he and his brother Paul were the first set of identical twins to pass the FRCS in general surgery together. After working for the late Professor Philip Stell in Liverpool, Rob pursued a career in ear, nose, and throat surgery, training in Edinburgh with Arnold Maran, followed by a fellowship in head and neck surgery in Rotterdam under Paul Knegt. There he learnt Dutch and met his future wife, Christine.

Rob was respected, admired and much loved by his colleagues of all disciplines and by his patients. He had the ideal personality to be a cancer specialist—he worked hard, constantly initiating care improvements, and always did his best for his patients. He loved to teach, was very involved in training, gave frequent lectures, was lead clinician in the Scottish head and neck audit, was regularly a guest speaker at national and international meetings, and wrote and cowrote several chapters in books.

Although he came to think of Scotland as his home and was fond of walking, he maintained his English heritage by following cricket and Coronation Street!

He was diagnosed with intracranial lymphoma in February 2006, and coped with treatment with customary good humour and courage. Although his initial response to treatment was encouraging, and he returned to work briefly, his disease recurred in October. During his final months he enjoyed spending time with his three young children.

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