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Biographical entry McLachlin, Angus Duncan (1908 - 1987)

MRCS and FRCS 1943; MD London, Ontario 1932; MSc 1933; DPhil Oxford 1936; MS Toronto 1940; FRCSC 1941; FACS 1946; Hon LLD 1978.

14 October 1908
St Thomas, Ontario, Canada
9 October 1987
General surgeon


Angus Duncan McLachlan was born on 14 October, 1908 at St Thomas, Ontario, the son of Archibald Fulton McLachlin and Annie Mae (née McLarty). He graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1932 where he was a distinguished scholar and superb athlete. He won a Rhodes scholarship which he took at Oxford and was awarded his doctorate in physiology in 1936. On his return to Canada he trained in Toronto at the General Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children, as resident. He joined the Army Medical Corps and commanded No 10 Canadian Field Surgical Unit in the European theatre.

After the war he was appointed chairman of the department of surgery at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, and continued in that post for 30 years, until his retirement in 1974. There he trained over forty surgeons and established in the department the disciplines of cardiac surgery, plastic surgery, orthopaedic surgery, urology and neurosurgery. He founded the Southwestern Ontario Surgical Society, and was made its honorary President in 1978. He was President of the Canadian Association of Clinical Surgeons and the Central Surgical Association (1962), first Vice-President of the American Surgical Association (1966), and first Vice-President of the American College of Surgeons (1975). For many years a member of the James IV Association of Surgeons he served at various times as its secretary-treasurer, vice-president and director, and was the Association's Travelling Professor of Surgery in 1962. In 1967 he was made Sir Arthur Sims Common¬wealth Travelling Professor and in the same year was awarded a Moynihan lectureship for his work on postoperative venous thrombosis.

His wife, Sheilagh, was an anaesthetist and they had two boys and two girls none of whom took up medicine. His athletic prowess was rewarded by the Mike Pearson award of the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union. For his memorable contribution to teaching the Canadian Royal College awarded him the Duncan Graham award. After his retirement he continued to teach residents and students and performed his last operation in 1979, but still continued to teach and attend grand rounds. His hobbies were his family and grandchildren; working on his farm; training and breeding Labrador retrievers; and wildfowl hunting. He died after a short illness on 9 October 1987 aged 78 years, surrounded by his family and friends. He had been a member of 19 medical and surgical societies and he contributed 42 publications on a variety of subjects to the literature.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Memorial publication for the American Surgical Association].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England