Dr Jim Sherstan was born in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, on 1 April 1933, was raised and schooled in tiny prairie towns, and graduated from the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine in 1960. He trained in general surgery in the celebrated program at the University of Alberta, finishing in 1966.
He met his wife, Betty, while doing a year of surgical training in St. John’s, Newfoundland, in 1963. She describes him as charming and humorous. They have four children—Michele, Scott, Cindy, and Craig.
I met Jim in 1966 when I started an internship at the University of Alberta Hospital. Jim was just finishing as chief resident in surgery and was going to Cold Lake, Alberta, until he completed the fellowship exams in the fall. In 1969 I met Jim again when I started a 6-year stint in general practice in Kitimat, BC. Most of Jim’s professional life was spent there, and he was an indispensable member of the medical community. He was available 24/7 to carry out a wide variety of surgical procedures, including cesarean sections, and he would volunteer to help out the GP covering emergency if the workload was excessive.
Jim also introduced me to curling. Jim was the skip at a rink that was all, or nearly all, physicians. Thanks to his patient teaching style and a rather busy playing schedule, I managed to learn the game and we often did well. Sometimes two members of the team would be called simultaneously to emergencies, so we would have to forfeit, but we could play one man short and still do well.
Jim died in Quesnel, BC, on 2 February 2020. Those of us privileged to have worked, played, sung, and curled with Jim cherish the time we spent with him. We extend our love and sympathy to his wife, Betty, and their children.
—Ian L. Macdonald, MD, FRCPC
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