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Barnett Shanson (“Barney”) started work with junior hospital doctor posts in anaesthetics, surgery, and rheumatology. He was a founder member of the Heberden Society, the forerunner of the British Society for Rheumatology. Subsequently he worked as a general practitioner for 45 years. He had many original ideas, carrying out experiments on the pulverisation of renal calculi by low frequency ultrasound many years before lithotripsy was introduced into hospital practice; demonstrating transient clinical improvement in some rheumatology patients following hypnosis; and publishing papers on histamine and antihistamine.
Barney enjoyed story telling and wrote a book, Doctor in Soho, in collaboration with Charles Connell. This book described his experiences as a general practitioner in Soho. It was translated into five languages and serialised in the Sunday Dispatch. He read medical journals avidly until well into his 96th year and often asked searching questions after postgraduate medical lectures. He was predeceased by his first wife, Clare, who died at the early age of 49 years, and by his second wife, Steffie. He leaves two sons, both doctors, and a daughter; six grandchildren; and one greatgrandchild.
Former general practitioner London (b 1910; q The London Hospital 1932; DPhysMed 1949), died from prostate cancer on 22 August 2007.