Peter Saunders, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Ashford Hospital, Middlesex (1974–95) and University College Hospital, London (1993–2002) (b: Vienna 1937; q: St Thomas’ Hospital, London, 1962 FRCOG; d: pulmonary carcinoma, 10 December 2003)
Peter Saunders came to England at the age of six months when his father Emmanuel Schleyer-Saunders, also a gynaecologist, brought his family from Vienna to settle in London. He graduated from St Thomas’ Hospital in 1962 and underwent obstetrics and gynaecology training at Queen Charlotte’s, Chelsea and St Thomas’ Hospitals before being appointed to a Consultant post at Ashford Hospital, Middlesex, in 1974. Peter was an outstanding clinician, teacher, trainer and communicator. He had a large, devoted obstetric following and wrote three deservedly popular guides to pregnancy, childbirth and women’s health. He was an acknowledged expert in the management of the menopause, as had been his father. In 1993, Peter commenced a second career when he was appointed Consultant/Senior Lecturer at University College Hospital, London, with specific responsibility for postgraduate education, a role which suited him perfectly and in which he excelled.
A big man in every sense, he was a loyal and generous friend who was always a pleasure to be with and to work with. He had a particular affinity for trainees and developed, with his colleague Derek Hyatt, a renowned training programme at Ashford where his skill in teaching, enthusiasm and humour were used to full advantage. He was a strong supporter of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, where he was chairman of the Recruitment Study Group, careers adviser and MRCOG examiner for many years. Peter was also the English representative as Professeur Etranger at the French Academy of Medicine (a post for which he competed with a presentation in his excellent French), UK Dean of the St George’s International Medical School, Grenada, and a strong supporter of the Royal Society of Medicine which he served as a Council member, Section President and Vice President. He was devoted to his specialty, his very many friends, Chelsea Football Club, music and above all his family. He leaves his wife Stephanie, three sons and six grandchildren.