BA (Oxon) 1957; MA (Oxon) 1962; BM BCh (Oxon) 1960; FRCP (London) 1963; DM (Oxon) 1973; FRCP (Canada) 1976; FACP 1998; FCAHS 2005
17 April 1937 – 09 September 2014
Roger Sutton was born in Lancashire. He received his undergraduate medical training at Oxford University and his postgraduate training at University College Hospital, London. Roger, his wife Wendy and their two young daughters emigrated to Canada in the early 1970s, where Roger 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 recognized in his speciality 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 the head of the divisions of nephrology at both the Vancouver General Hospital and the University of British Columbia. In 1986 he also became head of Medicine at Vancouver General ospital , and held all these positions until 1994. Under his leadership this was a period of marked growth in nephrology in Vancouver , including programmes training clinical nephrologists for all of British Columbia and beyond, as well as many research fellows in the laboratory.
In 1978, he was awarded the prestigious Medal in Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada. He was on the Executive of the Canadian Society of Nephrology as Secretary Treasurer (1981-1983), President elect(1983-1984), and then President (1984-1985).
In 1993 Roger and Wendy travelled to Pakistan where Roger took up a seven-year position as the Head of the Department of Medicine at the Aga Khan University in Karachi and then Dean of Health Sciences, Aga Khan University where he was the central figure in the development of the curriculum for the new medical school, before returning to Vancouver and retirement. He was Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia from 2002
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 (and the many travels he made to find and photograph particular birds).
His fearless love for 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 is 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
Courtesy Royal College of Physicians London, Munk’s Roll. Volume XII, web page