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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

versión On-line ISSN 2078-5135
versión impresa ISSN 0256-9574

SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. vol.108 no.11 Cape Town nov. 2018




Emeritus Associate Professor Roy Keeton, 22 March 1931 - 5 January 2017




Roy Keeton spent his working life devoted to the practice of medicine. After graduating from Wits Medical School in 1954 and working as a GP for 10 years, he was a medical registrar, first at King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban and then at Groote Schuur Hospital. While a GP he obtained the MRCP from Glasgow (1964), and later, while a medical registrar, the FCP (SA) in 1970. From 1971 to 1994 he was head of the Department of Medicine at New Somerset Hospital, being promoted Ad Hominem to associate professor in 1981. He was elected FRCP Glasgow in 1983, and received the UCT Distinguished Teacher award in 1988 and the Department of Medicine Distinguished Physician Award when he retired in 1996.

Roy was widely acknowledged as an astute clinician, a very competent administrator and a dedicated teacher who took great interest in his students, many of whom he nurtured through hard times, perhaps most notably those who failed their final exams and had to do a seventh year. He made innovative contributions to methods of teaching and assessing undergraduate students and was also appreciated for his postgraduate teaching and special tutorials for candidates writing the College exams. For many years he organised the Department of Medicine clinicopathological conferences and conscientiously shepherded these through to publication in the SAMJ. In addition to his clinical and academic work, Roy dutifully served on a wide range of professional and institutional committees, of which various national and local drug advisory and control committees and undergraduate education committees were probably the most onerous.

While he was best known as a superb generalist in medicine, Roy had a special interest in and passion for nephrology. His research orientation led him to collaborate with a wide variety of colleagues on many projects and interesting case studies with a view to advancing knowledge by extending bedside observations and their analyses through to peer-reviewed publication.

Roy Keeton belonged to a generation of exemplary physicians who served the University, the profession and the public with deep commitment and integrity. He will be remembered as a gentle, highly respected and greatly admired physician and friend with high moral and professional standards who led and developed his department at Somerset Hospital into a more than equal partner with the medical firms at Groote Schuur Hospital. While doing so, he remained a most loyal colleague, always eager to contribute to Department of Medicine activities beyond Somerset Hospital. After formal retirement he continued to work part-time in several capacities until he turned 80.

Roy's full professional life was supplemented by dedication to his wife, Blanche, and his family, and to such social activities as walking in mountain and coastal areas, trout fishing and listening to and playing chamber music.


Emeritus Professor Solly Benatar

Cape Town, South Africa

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