American Surgical Association Transactions

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1940 - 2020

Roger G. Keith, M.D., 1940-2020

Roger was born in Calgary and graduated in Medicine from the University of Alberta (1964). Surgical education included a residency at the University of Toronto, and fellowships with Professor Jean Escat (Toulouse), Sir Rodney Smith (London), Dr. William Longmire (Los Angeles), and Dr. Thomas T. White (Seattle). This prepared him for a pioneering role in hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) surgery and a leadership role in Canadian surgery.

His initial clinical role was to establish HPB Surgery at Sunnybrook Medical Centre (1973-1986). He then became Head of General Surgery at St. Michael’s Hospital. In 1990, Roger moved from Toronto to become Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Saskatchewan where he served to 2005. He was Editor of the Canadian Journal of Surgery from 1992-1996.

Roger played a central role in the Canadian Association of General Surgeons (CAGS) serving on numerous committees and as President (1997-1998). This combined with his Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons activities led to important advances in every aspect of Canadian Surgical Education. This culminated with his naming as Royal College Chair of the Specialty Committee in General Surgery.

The Central Surgical Association was his favorite of many professional societies. He served on several committees and as President. He was a Governor of the American College of Surgeons, International Director of the James IV Association of Surgery, and an involved member of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, American Surgical Association, American HPB Association, and SAGES.

Roger was proud of his Scottish heritage and demonstrated his family tartan on formal occasions. He was an enthusiastic curler and golfer often traveling to the UK to attend the British Open.

Roger was ably supported by his lovely wife Nancy socially and professionally. They enjoyed travel ranging from surgical clubs, an African safari, or a trip to Antarctica. All of us have enjoyed Roger and Nancy’s hospitality in many settings. Roger was an amazing raconteur, and this was always enhanced by his favorite cocktail – a "grey goose martini."

We celebrate a pioneering HPB surgeon, an academic leader, and a gracious personal friend.