About the University of Leicester

Dr George Pohl

We have learned, with regret, of the passing of Dr Jurgen (George) Pohl MBChB, MRCP, who helped to establish the Leicester Medical School in the 1970s, serving as Senior Lecturer in Medicine until his retirement in 2001.

His daughter and son-in-law have provided the following obituary:

Born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1935, Dr Pohl graduated in 1958 in Melbourne, Australia. Due to the close links between Australian medical schools and the GMC as a part of the Commonwealth, this easily enabled his registration to practice medicine in the UK. It was there that he met his future wife, Irene, and they were married on 24 August 1963. They went on to have a large family: George leaves behind five children, thirteen grandchildren and four great grandchildren (Irene unfortunately having passed back in 2011).

After some moving back and forth between the UK and Australia, George and Irene settled in Leicester. And it was here that George had a chance to be involved in the early development of Leicester Medical School, where he conducted much research alongside his colleagues at the University, his main focus being hypertension. Having completed research in the use of anti-hypertensive agents in renal failure, and particularly research into the Circadian influence on cardiac events that is still noted today, a large prospective study showed that there are two peaks in chest pain - when falling to sleep at night and awakening in the morning. This finding added significant weight to a previous study which demonstrated this bimodal distribution. Another area of interest was in the management of treatment resistant hypertension, improving management in this area in the 1970s.

George was involved in research right up until his retirement 22 years ago. His many research projects have been cited multiple times in other publications, and have been published in a variety of journals both here in the UK and internationally. However, he had several more strings to his bow.

As an academic, George was actively involved in teaching the next generation of doctors for the newly developed Leicester Medical School, which opened in 1975. There is an old photograph from that year, entitled 'Early Academics in 1975', with him seated front and centre alongside numerous other well-known academics from the school. In the 1990s he taught a number of his daughter's friends who trained there, offering them additional teaching if needed to ensure that they were ready for their finals. This was available to anyone who needed it, and it benefitted many future graduates. He was a keen educator who ensured that the next generation had a good grounding in medicine. His wife, Irene, worked in the same hospital as a phlebotomist and taught the students how to take blood, showing the input the family had in teaching and training future doctors.

The number of medical students he has taught over the years at the University of Leicester ran into hundreds, if not thousands. George continued to work around Leicester, particularly at the General Hospital, as a Consultant Physician and Cardiologist right up until his retirement in 2001. The current Dean of Medicine at the University was one of Dr Pohl's senior registrars, and therefore experienced the training he offered first hand as a result. Currently, one of his grandsons is going through medical school at Leicester - following on from one of his daughters who graduated in 1998.

George had a huge variety of interests outside work too. He possessed an astonishing grasp of knowledge regarding every subject his children studied academically. What he didn't already know he learned, so that he could better understand them and their eventual role in society. He was also a voracious reader of both fiction and non-fiction alike - seeing him without a book "on the go" was a rare occurrence. Ultimately medicine was his passion, however: even after his retirement he continued working for many more years in a number of different locum roles, and remained active and closely involved with his family right up until his passing.

George Pohl passed away in his sleep on 1 January, aged 87.

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