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Lewis, Sir Aubrey Julian


LEWIS, SIR AUBREY JULIAN (1900–1975), psychiatrist. Born in Adelaide, Australia, he first became a physician and then, in 1929, a psychiatrist. He studied in the United States under Adolf Meyer. He continued his studies in Germany and obtained a research grant at Maudsley psychiatric hospital in London, where he was appointed clinical director in 1936. During World War ii, Lewis worked with military patients and served on service psychiatry committees. He was a member of the Medical Research Council's brain injuries committee and prepared a report for the council on neurosis in wartime. In 1943 he was appointed civilian consultant to the Royal Air Force. In 1946 Maudsley hospital was designated a university teaching center and Lewis was appointed professor. He wrote extensively on diverse topics. His contributions on depression and obsessional states were widely recognized. He also wrote on postcontusional states of the brain "Discussion on Differential Diagnosis and Treatment of Post Contusional States" (1942), and on effort syndrome and postoperative conditions. Lewis maintained that psychiatry should be an integral part of medicine and stressed the potential contribution of the social scientist to psychiatry. He explored many socio-medical and social-psychiatric problems such as aging, occupational adjustment, and public attitudes to mental illness. He contributed to the literature of psychiatric genetics and the history of psychiatry. An example of the latter is "Letter from Britain" (1953). He was knighted in 1959. Among his books were Inquiries in Psychiatry (1967), and a collection of essays and lectures The State of Psychiatry (1967). Lewis was among the first psychiatrists in Britain given significant positions and honors by mainstream medicine. Thus, in 1952, he became the first psychiatrist appointed to Britain's Medical Research Council.


M. Shepherd, in: P.H. Hoch and J. Zubin (eds.), Comparative Epidemiology of the Mental Disorders (1961), ix–xiv; A. Grinstein, Index of Psychoanalytic Writings, 3 (1958), 1228; 7 (1964), 3637. add. bibliography: odnb online; M. Shepherd, "From Social Medicine to Social Psychiatry: The Achievement of Sir Aubrey Lewis," in: Charles E. Rosenberg (ed.), Healing and History: Essays for George Rosen (1979).

[Louis Miller]

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