Sterling was born in Edmonton, Alberta, to Elizabeth Sterling, a teacher and actor, and Nelson, a dentist. He completed a BSc in biology/chemistry and an MSc in zoology at the University of Alberta. After a stint as a dam builder and fish farmer in northern Nigeria, Sterling returned to Edmonton where he met his wife, Jessie McKiddie. He followed his older sister, Shirley, into medicine, receiving his MD in 1958.
After an internship at Edmonton’s Royal Alexandra Hospital, Sterling completed a residency at Oakland’s Kaiser Permanente emergency room. In 1960, he joined the practice of Dr Barney Ringwood and Dr Hugh Atwood in Williams Lake, BC, later partnering with Dr Donald McLean. After studying urology at UBC, Sterling returned to rural family practice, joining the Burris Clinic in Kamloops. In 1980 Sterling moved to Alabama, where he worked for the health department bringing services to underserved patients. In 1988 Sterling retired for the first time, settling in Kelowna. However, his love of medicine got the best of him and he joined WorkSafeBC in Kamloops. He then took up doing locums in rural BC, retiring for the third and final time in 1992.
Sterling was often on call, mentored many young doctors, delivered thousands of babies, and never said no to anyone in need. He also played a mean game of tennis and was an accomplished badminton and squash player. In his 70s, Sterling took up writing, recounting his years practising medicine; many of his works were published in medical journals and by Caitlin Press.
Sterling leaves behind his wife of 64 years, Jessie; his daughters, Elizabeth, Melissa (Steve), Jocelyn (Steve), and Leslie (Randy); two grandchildren, Carson and Rachel; and numerous nieces and nephews.
—Gordon Olson, MD
Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally
accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
About the ICMJE and citation styles
The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.
An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.
BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:
- Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
- There is no period after the journal name.
- Page numbers are not abbreviated.
For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org