- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Harold Leeming Sheehan

Born 1900
Died 1988

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English pathologist, born 1900, Carlisle; died 1988.

Biography of Harold Leeming Sheehan

Harold Leeming Sheehan was the son of a general practitioner in Carlisle, a city in the county of Cumbria, on the Scottish border. He graduated from the University of Manchester in 1921, and two years later became attached to the pathological institution at the university. The death of his father occasioned him to return to his native town to take over his father’s practice. In 1927, when a younger had qualified as a practitioner, Sheehan left Carlisle for Manchester.

He was a teacher of pathology at the University of Manchester from 1927 to 1934, when he went to the USA as a Rockefeller scholar. His early scientific work concern the physiology and pathology of the kidneys. He continued these works while he was a Rockefeller Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University 1934-1935. Sheehan was ordained scientific director at the Royal Maternity Hospital, Glasgow, 1935-1946. He was appointed professor of pathology in Liverpool in 1946.

Sheehan was an entertaining person and a brilliant lecturer with a seemingly unlimited arsenal of witty and original comments on most questions. His wife was a lecturer of French. Harold himself learned to be fluid in French and was a highly popular lecturer not only in England, but even on the European mainland.

Sheehan was by nature a modest person who considered his description of damages to the pituitary following great haemorrhages during delivery as less than remarkable. “I have written a large work on the pathophysiology of the kidneys which I consider my best. It has hardly been quoted” he once said.

We thank Jose Mauricio C. Lemos for information submitted.

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