Born at Baghdad. Hashim al-Witry received his medical training at the Royal Military College, Istanbul, and qualified in the year 1918. Soon afterwards, as a captain in the medical services, he was posted back to his native city of Baghdad. In 1920 he was appointed physician to its General Hospital, and soon established his reputation as a teacher at the bedside. After a period spent in London at the National Hospital, Queen Square, he returned in 1928 to become professor of clinical medicine. Until his retirement in 1958 he was, in addition, dean of the faculty for many years.
He created the Iraq Medical Research Institute, which has made contributions to the study of a number of local problems, and he played a prominent part in establishing the Iraq Academy of which he was elected vice-president. In 1941 he founded the Journal of the Faculty of Medicine of Iraq and remained its chief editor until his death, contributing numerous papers, mainly on neurology and medical history.
For many years he was Iraq’s representative on the International Society of Internal Medicine. Endowed with sound judgment and a sense of humour he was an enthusiastic teacher and a kindly administrator. The medical faculty in Baghdad owes much to his inspiration, leadership and sagacity.
He married his cousin, Sharifa al-Witry, in 1921. They had one son and four daughters and one adopted son.
Richard R Trail
* He was elected under the special bye-law which provides for the election of "Persons holding a medical qualification, but not members of the College who have distinguished themselves in the practice of medicine, or in the pursuit of Medical or General Science or Literature..."
[Brit.med.J., 1961, 1, 972; J. Fac. Med. Baghdad, 1961, 3, 86 (p); Lancet, 1961, 1, 726.]