Local surgeon Roy Kirkpatrick to receive service award from Ontario Medical Association


He’s humble about his achievements, but the recognition is well deserved. Dr. Roy Kirkpatrick—whose 30-plus-year career includes foreign service in Pakistan, Haiti and New Guinea, locum service in Iqaluit, and a position as Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) in addition to his general surgery duties at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare’s hospitals—will receive the 2018 Ontario Medical Association (OMA) Section Service Award for General Surgery.

He was nominated by the OMA Section on General Surgery and the Ontario Association of General Surgeons (OAGS).

“It’s humbling to be recognized by one’s peers,” he said, adding that he made a commitment to himself when he decided to be a doctor to help in places where there was a need. “Frankly there are lots of other doctors who do a whole lot more international work. My contribution to the global context is minuscule when compared to many but there are lots of people who don’t have the opportunity at all.” (Read an earlier Doppler story on Dr. Kirkpatrick’s work overseas here.)

Dr. Kirkpatrick gives kudos to his colleagues Dr. Ken Foster who used to work in Huntsville and is now in Parry Sound and who spent 18 years working in Afghanistan, and Dr. Greg Stewart who spent seven years working in Guatemala.

“(Dr. Kirkpatrick) also plays an integral role in planning and advising how the surgical education for tomorrow’s General Surgeons is facilitated, not only on a local and provincial level, but also on a national level,” noted the OMA announcement of the award. “In fact, he has been involved as one of (NOSM’s) community surgeon instructors almost since the inception of the program itself.”

Dr. Kirkpatrick has been appointed to the Specialty Education Committee and Regional Advisory Council with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, acts as an Independent Assessor for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, and as a NOSM General Surgery Resident Program Committee member. He also assists the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) in reviewing General Surgery applications.

He said the role NOSM plays “is really unique in Canada and possibly even in the world… right in their mission statement they talk about social accountability, they talk about serving populations in rural and remote areas, and with special attention to Indigenous people and Francophones. You can say all that in your mission statement but you’ve really got to walk the talk.”

And it’s working, he said. “Of NOSM graduates who stuck around also for their post-graduate training, 94 per cent have stayed in the north. NOSM is a wonderful idea, for which none of us in Huntsville can take credit, to try and redress the inequities in healthcare delivery from urban centres in the south to northern communities. And probably Thunder Bay and Sudbury gain disproportionately but there are family doctors who finish the program who go to tiny communities and make a real commitment to bettering the health outcomes of people in all these tiny little places. So it’s a big deal and working.”

And again, he highlighted the achievements of his colleagues. At a recent NOSM Faculty Development Conference, “they had an awards ceremony and Huntsville cleaned up.” His fellow surgeon Dr. Hector Roldan was promoted to associate professor, and Dr. David McLinden received two awards, as the academic leader in the education and scholarship category, and a leadership award from the Physician Clinical Teachers’ Association.

“If any one person in Huntsville deserves a disproportionate amount of credit for how NOSM is doing, it’s (Dr. McLinden),” said Dr. Kirkpatrick. “He’s taken the lead in organizing medical students who come, and for organizing the group that provides funding for teaching activities and research activities, he lectures at the medical school. He’s just an all around good guy and nobody could deserve it more.”

But no matter how much he attempts to deflect praise, there’s no doubt that Dr. Kirkpatrick’s contributions to the medical community in Muskoka and beyond have been significant.

It can’t last forever, however, and as Dr. Kirkpatrick approaches retirement, MAHC is welcoming Dr. Tony Yang as its newest general surgeon and his wife Dr. Deborah Leung as an emergency physician. They will arrive in late May. “So whenever it is that I call it a day, there will be guaranteed continuity. And he’s just a great guy, I am very impressed with Dr. Yang.”

Dr. Kirkpatrick will receive the OMA Section Service Award for General Surgery at the 24th OAGS Annual Meeting in Toronto on November 3.

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    • Frank Edelhofer Bobcaygeon Ontario on

      Dr Kirkpatrick did small surgeries on my wife and always put her at ease with his bedside manner. Always did a top notch job. That was some 15-20 years ago. We always place other Drs beside him as he was the best. Congratulations on a career well done. Wish there were more like you.

    • Marilyn Newton on

      Dr Kirkpatrick is the best, I have known him for years. I thank you for always being there. You have the best bedside manners. Nicest guy. Going to miss your smiling face. Have a great retirement, enjoy life and family as well. Thank you. Marilyn Newton

  1. Sharon McNally on


    I’ve always thought you wonderful for your manner with patients, families, and staff,
    and for the things you’ve done, and I didn’t know a quarter of all you do. You are undoubtedly a wonderful example for doctors and other healthcare workers coming on board! Thank you!

  2. It has been my great honour to work closely with Dr. Kirkpatrick for the last 28 years in the Operating Room at the Huntsville Hospital. Always a gentleman, Roy shows respect for all his hospital colleagues and cares greatly for all his patients. He is very deserving of this reward! Congratulations Roy!

  3. Carol VanSteeland on

    Dr. KP is a great surgeon as well as a humble, kind man. He always made time for me and took the time to make sure I always understood all his medical jargon. Also, he actually did my gallbladder surgery on his day off, which happened to be his birthday. I still think about him today, over 9 years ago about his generous spirit. Congrats Dr Kirkpatrick! You deserve to have this recognition. All the best to you in your upcoming retirement years.

  4. Mary-Lynn Bastian on

    This could not be given to a better man. Congratulations on this well deserved recognition for his continued devotion to the community of Huntsville and far beyond.

  5. Hugh Holland on

    This award could not be more deserved. Dr. Roy Kirkpatrick is an inspiring role model for all young physicians and one of many fine physicians in Huntsville. He represents yet another reason why surgery and acute care must remain in Huntsville to continue the outsized contribution to the NOSM, health care in northern Ontario communities, and indeed the entire world.

  6. Rich Trenholm on

    This is a well-deserved award for one of the finest gentleman and finest surgeons that I know who is undoubtedly humble about his contributions to the provision of medical care in our community and around the world, but provides medical care in such a honest, caring, and compassionate way that students all the way through to physicians like myself continue to learn from. Congratulations Roy!

  7. Sonja Garlick on

    No one is more deserving if this award than you, Dr. Kirkpatrick…kudos to you! In my many years in Huntsville I have seen you as a loving parent, a gifted surgeon and a concerned friend. You are a fine example for young doctors following in your footsteps!

  8. Stan Dronseika on

    WOW!!!! On the rare occasions I thought of leaving town, one of the first considerations against was always that we would have to give up having access to the boss. Thank you for being there for us.

  9. Dianne Adams on

    What a beautiful smile from a beautiful, caring, man! Thank you Sir for all you have done for so many…..

  10. Humility is your watchword; knowledge and skill are your tools; and kindness is your best over-weaning quality. But I’ve always wondered (no offense, Doc) if stand-up comedy lost a potential great, when you chose medicine.
    Congratulations! I couldn’t be happier for you.

  11. Many, many congratulations for a very well deserved award. It was a real delight to be a colleague, if only for a few years.

  12. Congratulations on receiving your well-deserved Award. Your expertise and dedication to our community is our perfect example for always having surgical services in Huntsville.
    Marg & Peter Wood

  13. So deserving an award Dr Kirkpatrick, and the gentleman who wondered about standup comedy was spot on, a beautiful bedside manner with uncanny insight into patient anxiety. Thank you for all your help and skill over the past 25 years.

  14. Congratulations Roy. This recognition is well deserved. Our family has been so blessed to have you in Huntsville, Ontario. You are a skilled surgeon, a compassionate physician, the most caring and loving of individuals…and best of all, a dear friend!
    Thank you!
    Mary and Don, Erin and Jenny Spring

  15. elizabeth bunty swanson on

    Roy- you were one of my favourite students at Aldershot 50 years ago!! So glad to read of your awards and service. Last time I saw you was at a AHS reunion and you and your wife had just returned from New Guinea. Are you in Huntsville? I am in North Bay and would love to reconnect. xx Bunty (Guiltinan) Swanson

  16. Rob Stimpson on

    Congratulations Roy – well deserved – a big thanks for your dedication to our hospital and community!

  17. Wendy & Dan McConnell on

    Roy, such a well deserved honour for such a caring and skilled Doctor. Our community has been very blessed to have had you serve for so long!! Wishing you health and happiness in your next chapter !

  18. Fran Coleman on

    Dr Kirkpatrick..Roy you are a gem, a caring and compassionate human being, with a wonderful sense of humour. Our community is so blessed to have you as an outstanding Surgeon, Community Volunteer and a NOSM friend, sharing you expertise with the school and the students in our community. Our family thanks you from the bottom of our hearts.

    Kindest Regards,
    Fran & Ron Coleman

  19. Barb McQuillin on

    Dr KP you are amazing. When I had gall bladder issues you saw me in the hospital on a Saturday and the nasty came out two days later in the Monday. When Richard was diagnosed with skin cancer and you found out we were leaving on vacation, you told Betty to book him
    For surgery on Monday because you didn’t have anything to do. The truth however, was revealed when you left the area. You were on call on Monday and already had a full day of surgery booked as well! Yet, Richard was “squeezed in”! Well done Sir! Thank you for your service.

  20. Pierre Mikhail on

    Great colleague. So deserving of the award. It’s interesting that Roy wasn’t found to be a suitable candidate for the chief of staff position. If he’s not suitable nobody is.

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