Sam Cohen Memorial Lectures

Prof Samuel Isaac Cohen MD FRCP FRCPsych

Prof Samuel Cohen was Professor of Psychiatry at the Royal London Hospital, and was one of the pioneers of liaison psychiatry.

Prof Cohen qualified in Cardiff in 1948, and did his postgraduate medical training at the Hammersmith and Brompton Hospitals. His studies were interrupted by tuberculosis contracted as a medical student, for which he underwent therapeutic pneumothorax. After training at the Maudsley Hospital he was one of the first psychiatrists appointed at the London Hospital, where he developed further his interest in psychosomatic disorders. He combined his exceptional clinical skills (particularly in unravelling baffling and complex clinical disorders, and in recognition and understanding of problems linked to substance abuse), with outstanding administrative skills, demonstrated by his negotiation of the opening of one of the first psychiatric wards located in a general teaching hospital. He opposed “seclusion” and restraining of disturbed patients. In 1968 he spent a year in Jerusalem re-establishing the Ezrat Nashim Hospital as a modern psychiatric centre. For many years he was Chairman of the Royal London Hospital Medical Committee and facilitated the start of the helicopter emergency service. After he retired he continued clinical work as Visiting Professor in Australia and New Zealand.

Prof Cohen was also a distinguished Hebraist, and published papers on the Book of Psalms.

The Jewish Medical Association (UK) is grateful to his widow, Dr Vivienne Cohen, and her family for their generous support for these lectures.

Dr Ilan Bank – 2010

Dr John Cookson – 2009


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