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Biographical entry Webster, Donald Robertson (1912 - ?)

OBE; MD Dalhousie 1925; PhD McGill 1932; Hon FRCS 1962; FRCSC; FACS.

7 January 1912
General surgeon


Donald Robertson Webster was professor of surgery at McGill University and surgeon-in-chief of the Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal, Canada. He was born on 7 January 1912, the son of a doctor from Pictou, Nova Scotia, and graduated from Dalhousie University in 1925.

After postgraduate studies at McGill, where he gained a PhD in physiology and experimental surgery in 1932, Webster joined the staff of the Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal. From 1939 to 1945 he served in the Royal Canadian Navy.

Following his demobilisation, he returned to Montreal and became director of the McGill department of experimental surgery. He researched into factors which influence gastric secretion and also became an authority on foot immersion or trench foot, caused by prolonged exposure in cold water, as well as frost-bite injury. He later became surgeon-in-chief at the Royal Victoria. He retired to Pictou, Nova Scotia, with his wife.

He received an honorary fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons in 1962.

In 1945 he married Jane Kern Ross. They had two children, Janet and Donald, and three grandchildren. His date of death is unknown, but his wife Jane was a widow when she died in 2009.

Sarah Gillam

Sources used to compile this entry: [Terry, N. Royal Victoria: the story of Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital, 1894-1994 Montreal, McGill-Queen's University Press, 1994, p.259].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England