Dr David Doty died just before the official beginning of summer. His fractured family origins likely steeled his self-dependence and striking individuality. Only recently did he discover his entire saga and found that he had two gentle and loyal half sisters.
He had a very competent intelligence, held strong convictions, and had an inflexible sense of fairness—which obliged him to battle any dissenter, especially if they were part of the establishment. Inside this warm, sociable, unapologetic personality there prowled the search of the committed rebel.
He was devoted and dedicated to the righteous cause of establishing a sensible and fair system of reimbursement for all specialists of the province: a Herculean struggle against the daggers of self-interest. His dream was to have the BCMA adopt his vision.
His signature achievement was forging a province-wide reimbursement contract for doctors on hospital call, which steals from their families, their sleep, and their stress recovery time. Traditionally physicians had provided this without recompense, but the inequity made it an irresistible target for David.
After an exhausting year as president of the SSPS (the roller on his new fax machine wore out in 6 months), his replacement declined to succeed him and David presided for a further year rather than see his dreams dashed. This unrelenting pursuit of a cause afflicted his health, his family, and his practice.
He joined the Air Force and served from 1974 to 1977. He was the flight surgeon at CFB Comox for 2 years, with 3 months each of pacifying the Golan Heights and guarding Egypt for the UN. He was professorially knowledgeable in the history of the area.
Graduating from the University of Alberta in 1973 he completed his residency in otolaryngology head and neck surgery in Halifax (1980) and then became the first otolaryngologist in Campbell River, BC. In 1985 he moved to Victoria where he built up an extensive ENT pediatric practice; what child could not identify with this enfant terrible?
Cycling to the office or hospitals daily kept him in fighting trim, and he also loved to ski. A brachial plexus neuritis forced him to retire from otolaryngology in 2002, but he stretched himself to spend some months working in Vanuatu, Victoria’s medical missionary clinic in the South Pacific.
With his former wife Janny, daughter Karin, sons Jason and Sean, and two half sisters, we all share the loss of a constructive iconoclast.
A memorial fund in pediatric surgery has been established at the Victoria Hospitals Foundation in the name of Dr David Doty.
—Michael A. Ross, MD
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