Thomas Taylor, MD, FRCPC, a physician who helped patients on the North Shore for 49 years, a fierce competitor on the rugby field, and a loving father and husband, passed away in North Vancouver on September 5, 2007 with his family at his side after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Tom was born on February 14, 1927 to Robert and Mary (née Maclean) Taylor in Glasgow, Scotland. He is dearly loved and will be remembered by his wife, Sue, his sons, Robin and Brian, his brother, Robin, and his many friends, colleagues and extended family.
Tom excelled at both his studies and sports from an early age. At Allan Glen’s School Tom was the Captain of the school and the first XV rugby team. He obtained his medical degree at the University of Glasgow in 1951 while also playing as a forward on the university rugby team.
Tom’s medical career spanned 56 years. In 1951 he started as a house surgeon in Glasgow, and in 1952 joined the Royal Army Medical Corps. In his last 6 months in the army he served as a Ships Medical Officer, leaving with the rank of Major in 1954. He subsequently practiced in Brampton, England until moving to Canada in 1957. While obtaining his Canadian licensure he practiced at the RCAF Station Greenwood in Nova Scotia. In 1958 he drove to Vancouver and opened his practice as a General Practitioner with a specialty in Obstetrics at Lions Gate Hospital.
In 1966 Tom left General Practice to study Dermatology at UBC. He was awarded the McLaughlin Fellowship in Dermatology, and completed his final year at St. John’s Dermatologic Institute in London, England. He passed the University of London Diploma Examination with distinction in 1970. When asked why he had chosen Dermatology of all the possible specialties, he answered that “it was the subject that had been most challenging when he was a student.”
Tom opened his dermatology practice on the North Shore in 1970 where he was known for the care and attention that he provided to each of his patients. Tom was also active in the medical community taking on a number of roles including: Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology at UBC where he taught for over 30 years, Chief of Medicine at Lions Gate Hospital from 1975-77, President of the Pacific Northwest Dermatology Association; Member, Board of Directors of the Canadian Dermatology Association; Chairman, Economics Committee of the BCMA Section of Dermatology; and Director of Northmount Medical.
Outside of medicine, Tom was passionate about his family and about sports. Three years after his arrival in Vancouver he married Susan Baker and had two sons, Robin and Brian.
As a sportsman, he enjoyed tennis, golf, skiing, and in particular rugby. Following university he played for the Royal Army team (and was capped) in matches against the Royal Navy and Air Force, and the French Army. During this time he also played for Glasgow and for a combined Glasgow/Edinburgh team against the South African Springboks. When Tom left the army in 1954 he played for the Southern Scotland team, the London Scottish team and Hampshire (earning a county cap).
When he moved to Canada, Tom joined the Vancouver Rowing Club team, and played for the BC and Western Canada Reps with whom he toured Japan in 1959. Subsequently, Tom was one of the original members of the Evergreens, an over-40 rugby team who play at Brockton Oval. In addition to the Evergreens’ home games in Vancouver, he participated in several rugby tours against teams in Japan, Portugal, Spain, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, and continued playing until the age of 63.
The family extends their special thanks to Dr. Mutat, Dr. Nantel, Dr. Haaf, Dr. Seger, Dr. McCloud and Dr. Sugar, and particularly to the wonderful staff in the Chemo Clinic and in Palliative Care at Lions Gate Hospital. And many thanks to the anonymous volunteers who gave Tom over 300 transfusions-worth of platelets and whole blood – if it weren’t for you, Tom would not have enjoyed several additional years with his patients, friends, and family.
More pictures can be viewed at picasaweb.google.com/c.brian.taylor/Dad
Read the UBC Department of Dermatology's news release.