Membership Overview

Dr Keith Hirschfeld

AAG was deeply saddened to hear the loss of Dr Keith Hirschfeld who passed away aged 89 in late July 2019. Dr Hirschfeld was AAG’s fifth President between 1972 and 1976, AAG and ANZSGM Queensland Division Secretary and was a founding member of the College of Rehabilitation Medicine (now a Faculty within the Royal Australasian College of Physicians).

AAG honours the passing of Dr Hirschfeld. The gerontology and geriatrics community have plenty to thank as he contributed much to the development of geriatric services in Queensland and to the teaching and mentoring of students and trainees.

He will be remembered as a brilliant physician, “with a loud voice and an engaging smile” and an energetic advocate for the care of older people who made a significant contribution that benefited many.

We extend our sincere condolences to his wife Jo, his children Kathy, Amanda and Michael, grandchildren Andrew and Caitlin and his brother Dr Brian Hirschfeld.

Related: The Early History of Rehabilitation Medicine in Queensland

Related: The Formation of Gerontological Societies in Australia by A.V. Everitt and M. Shaw

The following is an extract of the tribute from Dr Glenda Powell from the private ceremony.

KEITH ELIOTT HIRSCHFELD - 13/03/1930- 19/07/2019

Dr Hirschfeld attended Primary school at the Central Practising School, Secondary school at Brisbane Grammar School and graduated in Medicine from the University of Queensland in 1954.

After graduation he worked at the Brisbane General Hospital as RMO and Medical Registrar.

He married Jo (Bayton) on 05/12/59 and accepted the position of Medical Registrar at the Princess Alexandra Hospital Geriatric Unit where accommodation was provided in the Dispenser’s House (now the Diamantina Health Care Museum). Jo and Keith were happy there while he prepared for the RACP exams and where their first child Kathy was born.

In this position he was responsible for 300+ patients in the “chronic” wards of the new P A Hospital which grew out of the South Brisbane Auxiliary Hospital for the Chronic Sick.

On passing the MRACP, Keith entered private practice and was appointed Visiting Physician to the Geriatric Unit.

In 1976 he was appointed Director of this unit where he worked until his retirement in 1989. He returned as Visiting Physician to the unit until 1999.

As well as general geriatric medicine and rehabilitation, he managed the male head injuries and ran the Amputee Clinic.

Keith was an active member of the Australian Association of Gerontology serving as Queensland Secretary and President and as the national President 1972-1976, the ANZSGM and was a founding member of the College of Rehabilitation Medicine (now a Faculty within the RACP). He is an Honorary Life Member of both the AAG and the ANZSGM.

Keith took a keen interest in the Diamantina Medical History Museum and served on its committee from 1994.

Dr Hirschfeld contributed much to the development of geriatric services in Queensland and to the teaching and mentoring of students and trainees.

He had a loud voice and an engaging smile.

His contribution will be long remembered and he will be sadly missed.

Our thoughts and condolences go to his wife Jo, his children Kathy, Amanda and Michael and his brother Dr Brian Hirschfeld

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