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Raphael Balcon MD FRCP (1936–2008)
  1. C Layton,
  2. J Wright
  1. Dr C Layton, HD Clinical Ltd, Thremhall Park, Start Hill, Bishop's Stortford, Herts CM22 7WE, UK; clive.layton{at}

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Raphael Balcon was a major influence on cardiology in the UK for 40 years. His work for the British Cardiac Society as treasurer and later as president built on the foundations laid by his predecessors and helped ensure that the society gained strength and influence.

Raphael Balcon

Raphael’s career began in 1960 when advancing technology was beginning to make an impact on the specialty. Coronary angiography was in its infancy. The cardiologist faced an exciting future as diagnostic and therapeutic techniques appeared (and sometimes disappeared) at a remarkable rate. These developments fired a lifelong love for the specialty.

Born in 1936, Raphael was educated at Christ College, Finchley. He studied medicine at King’s College Hospital. While an undergraduate he married Elizabeth in 1959, qualifying in the following year. His fellow students will remember his ability at the poker table as well as his intellectual capacity. Residency at King’s was followed by 6 months at the London Chest Hospital, the beginning of a long association. He spent a year at Wayne State University in Detroit and there experienced the latest advances in cardiac investigation. In 1964 he gained membership of the Royal College of Physicians and was awarded …

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  • Competing interests: None delcared.