Celebrating Derek Doyle

Categories: Care, Leadership, and People & Places.

Many people would love to live a full life and let their light radiate from within and touch many lives. Dr. Derek Doyle was a bright light who shone so brightly. He was a missionary surgeon and the founder of St. Columbus Hospice. He was the founder and first chairman of the Association for Palliative Medicine of Great Britain and Ireland. Dr. Doyle’s contribution to the field of hospice and palliative medicine has been recognized globally.

After graduating from the University of Edinburgh, Doyle worked with the Church of Scotland from 1957 to 1966 and became a missionary surgeon in South Africa. In 1977, he founded and was appointed to run the first hospice in Scotland – St. Columba’s which continues to provide palliative care services both on-site and in the community.

In 1987 he was awarded the Order of the British Empire and in 2005 the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine’s (AAHPM) Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Doyle played an impressive role in medical publishing. He was the Founding Editor-in-Chief of Palliative Medicine and Senior Editor of the first three editions of The Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine. He wrote books mainly on aspects of palliative medicine and published more than 60 papers on palliative medicine and the history of medicine in Scotland.

Dr. Doyle has several accomplishments, especially regarding palliative care. You can find out more about Dr. Doyle here. We would like to join the world and palliative care fraternity in celebrating a life well-lived. He will be missed by many and his work and legacy will impact many generations. Dr. Doyle passed away peacefully on January 2022 in a palliative care unit surrounded by family members.

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