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Biographical entry Gordon-Smith, Ian Christopher (1941 - 1978)

MRCS and FRCS 1969; MA MB Cambridge 1965; BCh 1964; MCh 1976.

14 January 1978
General surgeon and Vascular surgeon


Ian Christopher Gordon-Smith was born in 1941 and was educated at Haileybury, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and the Middlesex Hospital. He qualified in 1964. After house officer posts at the Middlesex he was surgical registrar at Cheltenham General Hospital, taking the FRCS in 1969. He then returned to the Middlesex and soon started research into the prevention of deep vein thrombosis, work which led to a thesis for the MCh degree at Cambridge in 1976 and several important publications. Having worked for one year in Thailand he became senior surgical registrar at St Mary's Hospital, where he continued his training in vascular and general surgery. He had nearly completed his higher surgical training, but was released for a further period of service in Thailand before applying for consultant posts in Britain.

Throughout his short career in medicine he was an enthusiast in everything he did. He communicated easily with all groups and all ages. His driving force was a deep Christian faith which was an integral part of his life. It showed itself in concern for others, work in the Church, the Christian Medical Fellowship, and a number of organisations for young people. It was this same faith and practical concern that took him to work with the Overseas Missionary Fellowship at Manorom, among the paddy fields of central Thailand. The day he arrived at the hospital he used vascular surgery techniques learnt in London to save a patient's injured limb, and this set the stage for the months of involvement both in medical matters and in the local community. His wife Stephanie shared his conviction and their family life, which he prized so highly, was very happy. He died on 14 January 1978 aged 37 years in a motor accident in Thailand together with his wife and two young children.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 27 January 1978; Brit med J 1978, 1, 309].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England