Robert Adams

Robert Adams (1791-1875)

Robert Adams (1791-1875) was an Irish surgeon.

Eponymously remembered for his contributions to Stokes-Adams syndrome – an abrupt, transient loss of consciousness due to a sudden but pronounced decrease in the cardiac output, which is caused by a paroxysmal shift in the mechanism of the heart beat, usually an atrioventricular block.

After spending time practicing medicine in Europe, he returned to Ireland where he was appointed Surgeon to the Richmond Hospital and played an active part in founding the Richmond School of Medicine, renamed the Carmichael School of Medicine, which amalgamated with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

He spent several years as the Chair of Surgery in the Richmond School of Medicine and was three time appointed President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). He was appointed Surgeoncy to Her Majesty the Queen in Ireland and the Regius Professor of Surgery at the University College of Dublin.

Remembered also for his contributions to gout and heart disease, notably his 1927 essay ‘On Disease of the Heart’ in the Dublin Hospital Reports.

  • Born 1791
  • 1814 – Bachelor of Arts, Trinity College Dublin.
  • 1815 – Licentiate, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – apprenticed to Dr William Hartigan, Professor of Anatomy and Surgery.
  • 1818 – Elected Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
  • 1832 – Masters of Arts, Trinity College Dublin.
  • 1835 – Appointed Surgeon to the Richmond Hospital.
  • 1842 – MB, Bachelor of Medicine; MD, Doctor of Medicine.
  • 1861 – Master of Medicine.
  • 1862 – Regius Professor of Surgery at the University of Dublin; Surgeon in Ordinary to the Queen in Ireland.
  • Died on January 13, 1875 at his residence in Stephen’s Green, Dublin.

Medical Eponyms
Stokes-Adams syndrome (1827)

Major Publications



Eponymous terms


the person behind the name

MB BCh BAO from Queens University, Belfast.

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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