Nottingham Hospitals History



President of the  Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society

1983 - 1984

Dr John Bittiner, was consultant venereologist at Nottingham General Hospital from 1962 until his retirement in 1986.

He was educated at Aberdeen University, qualifying MB ChB in I943. He served with the Royal Army Medical Corps in India when newly qualified and, at the end of the War, returned to England to complete his postgraduate training at Leeds General Infirmary where he was Casualty Officer and Senior Registrar. He published the first described cases of asymptomatic carriage of gonorrhoea in men in 1955.

He was appointed consultant in Nottingham in 1962 and quickly established a first-rate department at the General Hospital. He delighted in teaching medical students, nurses, midwives and doctors. This skill was aided by a rapport for young people and an impish sense of humour.

In the early 1960s he predicted the changes caused by the sexual revolution and by the contraceptive pill, which were to alter the demography of the clinics from domination by men to virtual parity with women. At the same time effective antibiotics and contact tracing put the traditional sexually transmitted diseases, gonorrhoea and syphilis, into decline.

John Bittiner took great pride in his department, his staff and the hospital and in 1990 published "Nottingham General Hospital - Personal Reflections". He was an excellent administrator and his wise judgement, experience and diplomacy led to his being much in demand as a committee member and chairman. Amongst other appointments he was Chairman of the Nottingham Stoke Appeal which culminated in the establishment of a chair in stroke medicine and an associated research department.

As an enthusiastic Territorial Army Officer he travelled widely and gave valuable advice to the Forces in relation to his speciality. He was awarded the Territorial Army decoration.

As President of the Medico-Chirurgical Society he recruited a wide range of speakers and was greatly supported by his delightful wife Pauline, who was later elected a life member of the Society.

In his all too short retirement he enjoyed driving his Porsche and cultivated his many interests including horticulture, motor caravanning and art classes.