Stuart Harvey Green

 

 

Stuart Harvey Green was one of the first generation of paediatric neurologists in the United Kingdom and was intimately involved with the development of the specialty, being a founder member, secretary, and then president of the British Paediatric Neurology Association. He trained at the Hammersmith, Queen Square, and Great Ormond Street before going to Lexington, Kentucky. He returned to a senior lecturer post at the University of Birmingham and was a consultant at the Birmingham Children's Hospital

He was an exceptionally hard worker and an excellent teacher. Patients and students loved him. His diagnostic skills and reassurance were welcomed by his colleagues, especially when unexpected neurological problems arose. He could lighten any conversation with an apposite anecdote or humorous story. Time was of little importance and he did teaching ward rounds, well attended, which often ended after midnight. His special interests were neuro-ophthalmology, metabolic diseases affecting the developing nervous system, and adrenoleucodystrophy. He was kind and generous, a very popular figure in the hospital and notoriously disorganised.

One of his special abilities was to communicate with children. One example of this was the story he told of a boy extensively investigated elsewhere for a curious eye movement abnormality. Stuart asked him: “Why do your eyes do that?” “I have no friends,” the boy replied, “so I play with my eyes.” He always taught that a good clinical history was much more important than specialist investigation.

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His Judaism pervaded much of his life, and he lectured frequently on Jewish medical ethics, combining three things he loved: his religion, medicine, and talking.

When he died in 2006, his colleagues formed a committee to find ways to commemorate his considerable contributions to both undergraduate and post graduate education. The lecture theatre at Birmingham Children’s Hospital was named  after him and an annual memorial lecture is held on a date close to his birthday on topics close to his heart ranging from a neurologist on “God and the brain” to the president of the RCPCH on global child health.

The fund set up in his memory has also provided an annual bursary for a medical student elective, first awarded in 2012.

He is survived by his wife, Margaret Newman, a concert pianist, and two sons.

Former paediatric neurologist Birmingham (b 3 June 1939; q Cambridge/Middlesex 1963; FRCP, FRCPCH), died from a stroke on