Lives of the fellows

Clinton Bruce Hatfield

b.18 July 1926 d.8 February 2009
BSc Alberta(1948) MSc(1951) MD(1953) MRCP(1958) FRCPC(1959) FACP(1962) FRCP(1991)

Clinton Bruce Hatfield was nominated one of Alberta’s ‘100 physicians of the century’ in 2005. He was born in Calgary, the son of Clinton Forman Hatfield, a traffic manager, and his wife Florence Rose née Hilton, a nurse. He was educated at Western Canada High School and studied medicine at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and the University of Alberta Hospital, where he was an intern from 1953 to 1954. In 1957 he moved to the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis on a fellowship in medicine. He was an instructor in medicine at the University of Minnesota Hospital from 1958 to 1959. At this time he also obtained the membership of the Royal College of Physicians in London, and fellowships from the Royal College of Physicians of Canada and the American College of Physicians.

In 1958 he travelled to England to complete a year's training as a volunteer research assistant at the Hammersmith Hospital, where he studied adrenal physiology with Cuthbert Leslie Cope [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VI, p.118].

The following year he returned to Calgary to establish a private practice in general internal medicine with his brother, Robert Edgar Hatfield. He was also on the staff of the Calgary General Hospital, where he served on many committees including the pharmacy committee, of which he was chair in 1966. Appointed assistant professor in medicine at the University of Calgary in 1970, he became clinical professor, retiring in 1994. He wrote several medical papers on adrenal function.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Hatfield gave numerous presentations to youth groups and schools on the subject of family life and sex education, and travelled to India to deliver a paper on 'Sex education: one physician's view' in 1970. He worked in the field of medical ethics most of his professional career. His interests included active promotion of better care for the terminally ill, and as a teacher in the field of death and dying. He and his brother were awarded the Alberta achievement award and the Premier's cup for their work with the terminally ill. Together they published Matters of life and death (Kelowna, BC, Wood Lake Books, 1985).

He was an active member of the United Church of Canada, serving as clerk of session at Woodcliff United Church and as a commissioner at three of the general councils.

A keen trail rider, he was doctor to the Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies. Other hobbies included woodworking, reading, public speaking and photography. He won several awards and trophies for his scenic photographs which have appeared in Macleans, Canadian Doctor, Canadian Medical Association Journal, and numerous calendars.

In 1953 he married Kathleen Westgarth, a nurse and they had four daughters, Barbara, Kate, Linda and Sue. He was survived by Kathleen, his daughters and nine grandchildren; Nathan, Michael and Tim Coles, Jenna and Jake Obsborne, Ben and Sarah Smith, and Ellen and Matt Cusano.

RCP editor

[University of Alberta archives – accessed 18 November 2014; The Calgary Herald 9 April 2009]

(Volume XII, page web)

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