Lives of the fellows

Roger Adrian Livingston Sutton

b.18 April 1937 d.10 September 2014
BA Oxon(1957) BM BCh(1960) MRCP(1963) DM(1973) FRCPC(1976) FRCP(1980) FACP(1998) FCAHS(2005)

Roger Sutton was a nephrologist and professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. He was born in Lancashire and studied medicine at Oxford University and University College Hospital, London.

In the early 1970s he emigrated to Canada, where he worked initially at the Royal Victoria Hospital and McGill University in Montreal. In 1976 he moved to Vancouver, where he established a metabolic stone clinic and a clinical investigation unit focused on disorders of mineral metabolism, renal stone disease and osteoporosis. Possessing an unusually exacting and curious mind, he became internationally recognised in his specialty of nephrology, with particular expertise in osteoporosis and renal stones, and was widely admired for his clinical, research and administrative abilities.

In 1984 he was appointed head of the divisions of nephrology at Vancouver General Hospital and the University of British Columbia. In 1986 he also became head of medicine at Vancouver General Hospital, and held all these positions until 1994. Under his leadership this was a period of marked growth in nephrology in Vancouver, particularly in the programmes which trained clinical nephrologists for all of British Columbia and beyond. There were also more research fellows in the laboratory.

In 1978 he was awarded the prestigious medal in medicine of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He was on the executive of the Canadian Society of Nephrology as secretary treasurer, president elect and then as president (from 1984 to 1985).

In 1993 he travelled to Pakistan, where he took up a seven-year position as head of the department of medicine at the Aga Khan University in Karachi and then dean of health sciences, where he was a central figure in the development of the curriculum for the new medical school. He subsequently returned to Vancouver and retirement.

Roger had a life-long passion for ornithology, and it is quite likely that he ultimately came to know as much about birds as he did about medicine. His love of birds and bird watching started in childhood. Later in life his bird watching expertise was accompanied by an equal accomplishment in the photography of birds. He travelled extensively to find and photograph particular birds.

His fearless love of travel and adventure has been an inspiration to many. Roger’s life-long achievements in medicine and birding were associated with quiet calm, a great sense of humour and enviable modesty. He was passionate about life and took great joy in the company of his family and friends. He was a loving husband and father and caring physician, and will be much missed by his family, numerous patients, colleagues and friends, and his many students and fellows who now hold senior positions in medicine throughout the world.

He was survived in Vancouver by his wife Wendy and two daughters, Fiona and Nicola, and in England by his brother Nigel and his family.

Angus Rae
Adeera Levin
John Feehally

[Urolithiasis 2015 43(1) 3 – accessed 21 February 2015]

(Volume XII, page web)

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