Urologists mourn loss of John Fitzpatrick, MCh


Professor John Fitzpatrick, MCh, an international leader in the field of urology, died suddenly Wednesday, May 14.

Professor John Fitzpatrick, MCh, an international leader in the field of urology, died suddenly Wednesday, May 14.

Dr. Fitzpatrick, 65, of Dublin, died from a subarachnoid hemorrhage, according to a blog on the website of the BJUI, the journal he edited for a number of years. News of Dr. Fitzpatrick’s passing was met with shock and sadness among urologists attending this week’s AUA annual meeting, and colleagues from around the world posted words of sympathy and fondness for Dr. Fitzpatrick online.

“John was a highly intelligent and really effusingly warm individual who you couldn’t help but like,” said Howard M. Snyder, III, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. “He could work a room better than anyone I know. He was probably the most popular urologist in the UK.

“The outpouring of grief by members of the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons is unparalleled. I don’t think any time that I’ve been with the GU Surgeons have I seen such an outpouring of grief,” added Dr. Snyder, a member of the Urology Times Editorial Council.

Dr. Fitzpatrick was emeritus professor of surgery at the University College Dublin School of Medicine & Medical Science, former consultant urologist and chairman of the division of surgery at Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, and head of research at the Irish Cancer Society.

Between 1977 and 1981, Dr. Fitzpatrick trained in the St. Peter’s Hospitals and the Institute of Urology in London. “A short posting in Mainz, Germany launched what would become a career-long interest in research, and he built many enduring professional connections across both the UK and Europe,” according to an announcement on the University College Dublin website. “Through the Urological Research Society and the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons, he formed many more friendships and alliances across North America in the subsequent years.”

In 1981, he was appointed consultant urologist and senior lecturer in urology in the Meath and St. James’ Hospitals and Trinity College Dublin, and 5 years later, was appointed as a consultant urologist and chairman of the department of surgery at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital and professor of surgery at University College Dublin, the college reported.

His research interests included renal ischemia, ureteric obstruction, BPH, prostate cancer, minimally invasive surgery, reconstructive urology, infertility, and erectile dysfunction. He authored nearly 300 peer-reviewed journal articles and 100-plus book chapters, edited 18 text books, and served on the editorial board of 25 other academic journals in addition to his editorship of BJUI.

Roger Kirby, MA, MD, of the Prostate Centre, London, who authored the BJUI blog that paid tribute to Dr. Fitzpatrick, described him as “one of the truly great international characters of urology.”

“Sadly, none of us had the opportunity to say goodbye to John,” Dr. Kirby wrote. “He slipped away from this life, just as he did from so many international meetings, a little early, anxious to move on to the next challenge.”

The blog drew numerous posts from urologists worldwide, including U.S. urologists Ralph Clayman, MD, Jerry Richie, MD, Mark S. Litwin, MD, and Roger Dmochowski, MD, among others.

“We have all lost a great friend, a tremendous intellect, and one of the most joyful personalities in all of Urology,” Dr. Clayman wrote. “John brought the sun with him wherever he went.”

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“John was a true giant in Urology,” wrote Dr. Richie. “Larger than life, his eloquence, joie de vivre, Irish wit, and native intelligence shone through like a beacon.”

Some urologists took to Twitter to express their sympathy and share their remembrances:

@declangmurphy oh my Lord! Declan what sad news.He was my favourite international speaker, just a delight& how he loved the dance floor too!

- Jo Milios (@Prostatejojo) May 14, 2014

@declangmurphy very sorry to hear it Declan. Good man, good storyteller and shepherd/advocate of BJUI. Real loss for urology

- Mike Leveridge (@_TheUrologist_) May 14, 2014

@declangmurphy I have just spend the WE with him in Dublin. Major loss for oncourology. All my prayers for the family.

- Bertrand TOMBAL (@BertrandTOMBAL) May 14, 2014

@declangmurphy We were supposed to have him in Brussels today and tomorrow to honor him. May his soul rest in peace. Great loss indeed

- LibanoholiC (@Fadi_Dalati) May 14, 2014

.@declangmurphy Absolutely. Very sad & will be missed. Was with him last week with @BertrandTOMBAL et al. RIP Fitzy

- Rustom Manecksha (@rustommanecksha) May 14, 2014

@declangmurphy John Fitzpatrick: Tragic to hear, always the life the party, heart of gold, and smartest guy in the room.

- Scott Eggener (@uroegg) May 14, 2014

@declangmurphy an absolute tragedy, always the gentleman and interested in others stories , I like many others will miss him greatly

- Mark Frydenberg (@mfrydenberg) May 14, 2014

@declangmurphy very sad news indeed.

- Gerald Andriole, MD (@uropro) May 14, 2014

@uropro@declangmurphy Very very sad. Always very full of life

- jim catto (@JimCatto) May 14, 2014

@JimCatto: @uropro@declangmurphy Very very sad. Always very full of life” yes indeed a huge loss

- Nick James (@Prof_Nick_James) May 14, 2014

@declangmurphy Very sad news RIP

- BAUN (@BAUNnurses) May 14, 2014

@declangmurphy@MattBultitude so very sad, such a lovely man.

- Hayley Whitaker (@HayleyWhitaker) May 16, 2014

Dr. Fitzpatrick is survived by his wife Carol and children Andrew, Emma, and Gareth.

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