Henk van der Schoot served as President of the British Division of the International Academy of pathology from 1987 to 1988. To underline the good relations between the BDIAP and the Dutch Society of Pathology (NPAV), once in eight years the Dutch president was appointed as President Elect of the BDIAP and would serve as President over both societies. As the council in those days included such renowned pathologists as Harold Fox, Roddy McSween, Roger Cotton and Daniel Pratt, he revelled in this position and his responsibility, excelling in inspiring and binding people together.
Henk was born in 1925 and undertook his medical training at Leiden University. He served as a student-assistant in the department of pathology to earn some money, actually wanting to become a paediatrician, but he and his wife were blessed with two sets of twins, four daughters, in one year and Henk had to choose the first opportunity of a job he could get. He became a pathologist and became dedicated to this profession. He graduated with a thesis about cardiopathia calcificans in mice at the University of Leiden. Subsequently he was the first and only pathologist serving 6 rural hospitals in the beautiful countryside of Het Gooi, near Amsterdam. Daily practice consisted of autopsies and surgicals. Henk witnessed the expansion and development of pathology following the introduction of endoscopic biopsies and immunohistochemistry. These hospitals are now fused into one general hospital and the pathology staff has increased to four colleagues .
Henk was engaged in education and training at the Free University Hospital in Amsterdam and always encouraged colleagues to sent in the rare cases encountered in peripheral practice to the university lab for consultation, otherwise “our university colleagues would not be exposed enough to surgical pathology”. Henk, in these matters, had a warm and refreshing sense of humour. He was a gentleman and a bonhomme. He celebrated the end of his term in style, at the memorable, unsurpassed meeting of the BDIAP in Leeds in 1990, organised by the then young Dr Mike Wells, at Castle Howard. Henk was rewarded for outstanding and distinguished service by Her Majesty the Queen, being awarded the Order of Oranje Nassau. Henk died at the age of 86 years of the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and was commemorated during an impressive ceremony with all his family, colleagues and friends in the old Medieval Church in Veere.
Blaricum The Netherlands