Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Stevenson, Douglas Currie Lang (1912 - 1986)

Hon FRCS 1972; LRCP and S Ed 1934; LRFPS Glasgow 1934; FRCS Ed 1937.

15 March 1912
30 June 1986
General surgeon


Douglas Lang Stevenson was born in Edinburgh on 15 March 1912. He was educated at the Edinburgh Academy and studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, qualifying in 1934. He trained in surgery in Liverpool, Wolverhampton and Leicester before being appointed assistant surgeon at Oldchurch Hospital in Romford in 1941. In 1943 he joined the RAMC and commanded a surgical division at military hospitals in Germany, Poland and Yugoslavia. He was demobilised with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and appointed consultant surgeon to Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone, where he worked until his retirement in 1977.

During his career he had enormous influence on a very large number of young surgeons from all over the world. He founded, organised and developed the Whipps Cross tutorial course for the final FRCS examination which evolved into one of the leading courses of its kind. He attracted many outstanding surgeons as lecturers and teachers and his course became the model for those that followed in other centres. In addition to his gift for teaching, he was adept at devising new surgical techniques and new instruments. Some of these did not gain wide acceptance but the writer of this notice, and many other surgeons over the world, routinely use his intestinal clamps when performing gastric or intestinal anastomoses. In 1962 he was awarded the Lawson Tait Prize for his work on cancer and atheroma and in 1972 was made an Honorary Fellow of The Royal College of Surgeons of England for his enormous contribution to surgery.

Douglas Lang Stevenson was a much loved man. An excellent raconteur with a lively sense of humour, he was also loyal, sympathetic and wise. He was a keen golfer, constructing a mini golf course in his large garden where he played with his friends.

He died on 30 June 1986 after a long illness and was survived by his wife, Jo, his daughter Penelope and his son, Andrew, who is an orthopaedic surgeon.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1986, 293, 569 with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England