Dr Richard G. Pitman, a dedicated physician and a private family man, passed away on 11 February 2015 at the age of 93.
Richard, or Dick as he was known to his colleagues and George as he was known to his oldest friends, was born in Pontypridd, Wales, on 25 June 1921. He was schooled in Wales and went on to study medicine at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. While at Bart’s he was a noted member of the school’s rugby team and held a lifelong love of the sport.
Upon graduation in 1944 Richard joined the Welsh Regiment. As a member of the British forces in Germany, he, sadly, bore witness to atrocities committed at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp when it was first liberated.
In the years after the Second World War Richard studied internal medicine and received his MD and MRCP in 1949 and 1950. He traveled to Canada where he received the FRCPC in 1953. Dr Pitman practised internal medicine in Calgary, returning to the UK to begin a new specialty in radiology. From 1955 to 1958 Dr Pitman was the registrar, radiology, with Liverpool University, and then in London (DMRD 1958) he was the senior registrar, radiology, for Hammersmith Hospital. In 1960 he received his FRCR and became a consultant radiologist at the Welsh National School of Medicine in Cardiff where he practised until 1966.
Somewhere between his studies and medical practice Richard met Maureen. They married in 1960 and remained so until his passing. Richard and Maureen had three children while in Wales, moved to Vancouver in 1966, and added two more children to the growing family.
In 1968 Richard became head of the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at St. Paul’s Hospital and remained in that role until 1988. Richard specialized in mammography, initiated St. Paul’s Special Vascular Procedures Diagnostic Service, and created the Department of Ultrasound. As clinical instructor and later clinical professor for UBC in diagnostic radiology, he oversaw St. Paul’s undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programs. On retiring from St. Paul’s he continued to work as the consultant radiologist at Squamish General Hospital and the Whistler Medical Clinic.
Dr Pitman was a driven academic who never stopped learning. A car enthusiast, a fan of British comedy, and a lover of full English breakfasts, any spare time he had was devoted to his vegetable garden, his family, and his dogs (in that order!).
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