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Dr Barry Hoffbrand
  1. Michael Nicholls, Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine

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    Last year, Barry Hoffbrand demitted office as a member of the editorial board of the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine on retiring from full time clinical practice.

    Barry joined the editorial board 30 years ago; for 14 of these (1980–94), he was editor of this journal during a formative period and he created a viable and successful clinical educational journal to rival the best. It is a reflection of his industry, dedication to quality and accuracy, and his wise editorial judgment that the journal occupies its present successful position in the medical publishing world.

    Originally a source of printed lectures which had been organised by the Fellowship after the first world war, the journal has evolved and during Barry’s editorial tenure not only has there been a flowering in original, review, and special topic papers but a number of supplements on therapeutic and pharmacological advances have been published improving both circulation and finances of the journal. In addition, Festschrifts—for which he chose his editors carefully—have been a feature as supplements to the monthly publications (for example, that for Professor Margaret Turner-Warwick was the fourth supplement to volume 64) and supplements reporting the conferences organised by the Fellowship on European Postgraduate Medical Education.

    In the period when the Fellowship offices were high up at St Andrew’s Place, it was a familiar late afternoon sight to see Barry, both arms full of manuscripts—accepted/not accepted/for revision—arriving up the steep, narrow stairs to Jean Coops’ office where the journal was assembled and proofread. This was concurrent with his busy clinical workload at the Whittington Hospital and maintaining his work at officer level in the clinical section of the Royal Society of Medicine, and a medicolegal practice.

    He maintained firm views on the presentation and display while keeping a detailed grasp of the publisher’s needs. I like to think that he has ensured the success of our unique publication which has no specialist association to feed or support it.

    He was a valued, at times outspoken, member of Council cutting logically through vague or deceptive proposals and his sense of historical continuity was well illustrated by the 60th Anniversary Issue of October, 1985 particularly with his editorial and choice of contributors.

    He has given of his personal time and energy generously over these 30 years and there are many to whom the Fellowship owes much, but none has done more to ensure the success of the journal in particular than Barry and it is a pleasure at this time to thank him for that and wish him well in his future professional interests.