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Biographical entry Stevenson, Thomas McIntyre (1931 - 2016)

OA 2000; MB BS Edinburgh 1954; FRCS 1961; FRACS 1968.

14 April 1931
Luss, Scotland
21 August 2016
Orthopaedic surgeon


Sadly we acknowledge the passing of a truly great man, a gentleman surgeon, Mr Thomas Stevenson who passed away on 21 August 2016 following a battle with pancreatic carcinoma since 2014.

Thomas Stevenson's origins are from Luss, a village near Loch Lomond in Scotland which accounts for his tenacious accent. He received his medical degree from the University of Edinburgh in 1954 and commenced working in that year as a house physician and surgeon at Shoreham, a small town in Sussex, Southern England. During his time in England he married Kathleen (Kathy), a romance that lasted their entire lives. Shortly after his marriage, he enrolled for national service and for the next two years he was stationed in Malta, Suez, and Cyprus. He returned to Sussex to complete his surgical training and obtained his FRCS London in 1961. Three years of general practice was followed by three years of orthopaedic training on the London/Southern circuit.

In 1967 he immigrated to Australia to work as a clinical assistant at the Royal Adelaide Hospital where he worked for the ensuing 5 years. He obtained his Australasian Fellowship in 1968. In the same year, he became a clinical assistant at the Adelaide Children's Hospital and a visiting orthopaedic surgeon to the Repatriation General Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospitals, with a pace and vigor that have characterized him ever since. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital has been synonymous with Tom Stevenson over the last 48 years and he contributed as Head of Unit for a decade until 1997.

In the private sector he had a similar fervor since commencing in Harley Chambers, North Adelaide in 1969 and ultimately forming the Wakefield Orthopaedic Clinic where he continued a stalwart attendance at our research meetings. He was heavily involved in rural orthopaedic services where he visited Clare and Gawler.

Tom Stevenson was a curious paradox. The records will describe an overachieving individual who has excelled in every conceivable aspect of orthopaedic surgery. He was awarded the Order of Australia in 2000 for services to orthopaedic surgery and the community through his work with the Prospect Rotary Club. In 2014 he was a recipient of the Sir Henry Newland award, the highest honour we offer for services to surgery in South Australia. He has represented the Australian Orthopaedic Association as the SA Branch Secretary and Chairman. He was also the National Vice-President. He has taught and treated at outreach clinics in Fiji and Papua New Guinea and has been an examiner and visiting Professor in Burma. He has just completed a 20-year term as the SA Branch Archivist. In his later years, he continued to teach the undergraduate OSCE exams and surgical skill courses for basic trainees and our registrars at the Lyell McEwin Hospital clinics. Tom always responded to requests for tutorials, post graduate examinations, medical school admission interviews, encouraging research and presentations. The list of his achievements still remains unknown because of his paradoxically humble and selfless personality.

In his final months his time was increasingly spent caring for his ailing wife, Kathy Stevenson. He is survived by his wife Kathy, daughter Fiona, son-in-law Brooke, grandchildren William, Alice and Edwina, and two great grandchildren Oscar and Lottie. His colleagues, who have known him as a teacher, mentor, and an inspiration will sorely miss him.

David Campbell

Sources used to compile this entry: [Republished by kind permission of the President and Council of The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons from In Memoriam (].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England