Lives of the fellows

John Charles Arthur Sibley

b.30 May 1923 d.August 1981
MD CM Queen’s(1947) MRCP(1952) FRCP(C)(1952) FACC(1959) FACP(1963) FRCP(1974)

John Sibley was born in Mazenod, Saskatchewan, Canada, son of a minister of the United Church of Canada, and received his medical training at Queen’s University, graduating MD in 1947. He obtained his postgraduate training in Hamilton, Ontario, and then came to Britain to continue his studies at King’s College Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital and Newcastle General Hospital, obtaining his membership of the College in 1952. He was elected to the fellowship in 1974. He was also a fellow of the American College.

In 1954 John Sibley entered private practice in Hamilton, and became head of the department of internal medicine of the Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington in 1959. In 1967 he joined McMaster University as associate professor, with particular responsibility to the vice-president of the division of health sciences for coordinating education in the allied health professions. He was therefore one of the initial group who founded the Medical School at McMaster. He was appointed associate dean (education) in 1979, a post he held at the time of his death.

Sibley was a very successful internist with particular interest in cardiology. Under his leadership the Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington became one of the most highly regarded community hospitals in Canada, and he was a pioneer in the application of intensive care and coronary care. He was also deeply interested in rehabilitation and was a member of the Ontario, Canadian and American committees on this subject. He wrote more than thirty papers covering various aspects of rehabilitation and medical education.

John Sibley was a dynamic man, greatly in demand as a clinician and administrator and also in community affairs. He left nobody in any doubt about what he thought about any particular issue, and any committee chaired by him reflected this decisiveness.

His main interest outside his professional duties at McMaster was in the development of the Third World. He had a longstanding interest in Africa and was a member of the board of directors of Operations Crossroads Africa in New York, and chairman of Canadian Crossroads International. He was active in promoting medical education, medical services and missionary programmes, and made numerous visits to African countries as part of his commitment to this work. He received the Canadian Centennial medal in 1967 and the Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee medal in 1978.

In 1944, John Sibley married Laura Jean Macintosh and they had four children: two sons and two daughters. One of his sons predeceased him. Outside his work, his main relaxation was boating with his family in the Thousand Islands region of Lake Ontario.

EJM Campbell

(Volume VII, page 535)

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