Dr Peter Doris, 1944–2018

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 61, No. 2, March 2019, Page 83 Obituaries

Dr Peter Doris

Dr Peter Doris grew up in Ontario. He was a medical student at Queen’s University at Kingston and later a general surgeon at affiliated hospitals. Mid-career he moved to Surrey, BC, where he was quickly recognized as an outstanding surgeon, especially for abdominal pathology. On appointment as chief of the Department of Surgery at Surrey Memorial Hospital, he addressed the management of surgical services in the emergency room and moved to 24-hour surgical care. As surgical chief he found himself on numerous committees, where he was a popular advocate. On executive committees he found himself increasingly involved with Surrey Memorial Hospital’s role in the rapid expansion of Surrey’s community and its multicultural development. Dr Doris’s dream was that Surrey Memorial would be the link, as a teaching hospital, between the University of British Columbia and the Surrey campus of Simon Fraser University. He had the support of the medical staff but not of the administration, which over subsequent years removed physicians from roles in the hospital’s development.

Despite having a busy surgical practice, his door was always open to colleagues seeking advice on patients or hospital issues, and he continued to press for physician involvement in the hospital’s development. He spoke about the role of the physician in the hospital system at the 2016 College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC annual general meeting, and his presentation was so popular that it was repeated twice during the day.

Struck by sudden illness, Dr Doris lingered in hospital care, and it is saddening that in his final months he didn’t have the attention he needed and deserved.
—John O’Brien-Bell, MB

John O’Brien-Bell, MB. Dr Peter Doris, 1944–2018. BCMJ, Vol. 61, No. 2, March, 2019, Page(s) 83 - Obituaries.

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Mel Doris says: reply

Attention: John O'Brien-Bell

Thank you for the article on our brother. It was very kind of you to do so. Although I am the youngest, my mother said Peter always wanted to be a doctor at two years old. Peter graduated at the top of his high school class taking 13 subjects, when only 8 periods were available for instruction. The other subjects he did on his own. In medical school, he graduated the first in this class for 6 years. After his fellowship in England, he returned to Queens and was regarded by one of his students, who received an award from the American College of Surgeons for her work, she regarded Peter and his colleagues as giants in their fields. I am sure if his health was fine, he would still be practising surgery or somewhere else in the medical field even if H became a factor, which by the way, he was born in 1944. Thanks again.

Mel Doris and Lynne Roy

BCMJ says: reply

Hello Mel and Lynne,

Thank you for submitting this additional information about Dr Doris, and for pointing out the error. We have corrected his date of birth in the online obituary (1944, not 1948). -- BCMJ

Dr. Edmund Kostashuk says: reply

Beginning in 1993, as the Director of the Fraser Valley Cancer Centre at its inception on the Surrey Hospital Campus , I had the pleasure to become acquainted with this extremely dedicated surgical colleague and fellow Queens graduate and would like to publicly acknowledge his tremendous contributions to Cancer Care in the Fraser Valley. On the occasions when I or another colleague requested his opinion and services in the care of a patient, Peter was always quick to respond and took on the task at hand expeditiously and most competently. The province has lost a most outstanding surgeon and gentleman. My supreme compliment would be that he was a colleagues ideal of what a consultant should be. His memory and contributions are to be cherished.

Dr. Edmund Kostashuk

Charlotte Bedard says: reply

I am so sorry to hear he has left us. Tearfully so. I thought his surgery was so skilled as he removed cancerous grows twice for me and I need and trust him again Feb. 2020. Deeply sorry to hear he didn't get the care he should have. I'm born in 44 too and I felt a kinship - perhaps he was a taurus like myself and my father. I thought Dr. Doris was overworking and not taking time to look after his own needs when he operated on me in 2015. Impeccable man. Sorry he's gone. Bless you wherever you've gone.

Dr Kathy Lee says: reply

Thank-you Angela for letting me know about this orbituary. I was Dr Doris' medical student, resident, fellow and then junior staff. All through my training, he was always pushing me to be my best. He gave me confidence. Towards the end, I was still texting him for advice - and not just about clinical questions, but about life in general. He is a sorely missed mentor and I am glad he was able to meet Ray. I am sure they are both looking down on us and enjoying their sous vides.

Patricia Atkinson says: reply

Dr Doris was a wonderful man, doctor and surgeon, he was my doctor in Kingston, Ontario and also Surrey, BC.
He operated on my husband in Kingston, a very delicate stomach surgery and he had my husband at Queens University for the student doctors to listen to my husband long illness and the surgery Dr Doris performed.
I'm so sorry to hear he's no longer with us, a wonderful man and such a caring doctor. Sincerely Patricia

Ellen Louise Howard says: reply

Dr. Doris was a kind, caring and sincere excellent surgeon. I felt fortunate to have this man as my surgeon during my
diagnosis of breast cancer in 2015, and surgery at Surrey Memorial Hospital. In good health ever since, I think of him often. Just this year 2023 medicine has discovered a connection between the birth control pill and breast cancer.

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