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Biographical entry Kergin, Frederick Gordon (1907 - 1974)

MRCS and FRCS 1936; BA Toronto 1927; MD 1930; MS 1944; BA Oxford 1933; FRCS 1939; FACS 1958.

11 January 1907
Port Simpson, British Columbia, Canada
20 December 1974
Toronto, Canada
General practitioner


Frederick Gordon Kergin was born at Port Simpson, BC, January 11 1907, the son of W T Kergin, MB. After preliminary schooling at Prince Rupert he attended the University of Toronto, earning his BA in biological and medical sciences in 1927 and the MD in 1930, both with honours. He won the George Armstrong Peters and Lister Prizes in surgery. In 1931 he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and for two years at Oxford he studied physiology and anatomy, earning a BA from that university. His postgraduate clinical training occupied the years 1930 to 1937 and was taken at the Toronto General Hospital, the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, and St Bartholomew's Hospital and the Soho Hospital for Women in London, England. His attainments included the FRCS in 1936; the Canadian Fellowship in 1939, the Toronto MS in 1944 and Fellowship of the American College of Surgeons in 1958. Thoracic surgery was an early interest and he was a worthy successor of Shenstone and Janes in this area.

He served with distinction in the RCAMC 1939-1945, in the United Kingdom, North Africa and North West Europe and attained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. On his return from overseas he resumed his teaching appointment in the department of surgery of the University of Toronto and became Professor and head of the department in 1957. In 1966 he became Associate Dean and was responsible for the conversion of Sunnybrook Hospital to a teaching institution.

His outstanding academic qualifications were matched by his personal qualities, and his aid to aspiring surgeons elicited the respect, gratitude and affection of all who knew him. He succeeded Dr Robert Janes as chairman of the editorial board of the Canadian journal of surgery in 1965 and continued in that position until he retired in 1972. He wrote some 30 papers mostly relating to thoracic surgery. He was for several years chairman of the CMA's central program committee, his expert guidance ensuring a high quality of contributions to the scientific sessions. In 1972 he was made a senior member of the CMA.

A marksman and a hunter, he took his recreation in the field. In 1940 he married Suzanne Marie Speleers and had one son. He died in Toronto on 20 December 1974, aged 67.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Can Med Ass J 1975, 112, 343].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England