In Memoriam: Dr. John Sangster

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the sudden passing of Dr. John Sangster on March 18, 2022. Dr. Sangster was a well-known and highly respected clinician in London, and was a pillar of the Family Medicine program here at Western.

Dr. Sangster was a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Family Medicine. He was one of the first graduates of the Western University Family Medicine Residency Training Program in 1970, and went on to practice comprehensive Family Medicine for over 40 years. Dr. Sangster became a full time clinical Academic in the Department of Family Medicine in 1978 practicing at the Byron Family Medical Centre where he served as its Medical Director for 18 years. In this role he taught and mentored countless medical students and residents in comprehensive Family Medicine. 

Dr. Sangster completed the Master of Clinical Science (MClSc) in Family Medicine program in 1984, and shortly after graduating from the MClSc program he was appointed Director of the Graduate Studies Program. During his 18-year term as Director, Dr. Sangster championed the Program’s transition to a Distance Education online program format, which facilitated the international growth of graduate academic training in Family Medicine. Dr. Sangster authored several publications and made numerous presentations at local, provincial, national and international conferences.

Dr. Sangster had a passion for teaching and was an exemplary educator. Throughout his career his excellence in teaching was recognized with numerous awards including the University Student Council Teaching Honour Roll, the Western Family Medicine Dr. Ian McWhinney Teaching Award, and the Western University Dean’s Award of Excellence in Education. Dr. Sangster’s excellence in patient care was recognized by the Ontario College of Family Physicians when he was awarded the Family Physician of the Year Award for Region 2. Dr. Sangster was a tremendous leader in Family Medicine and he received the Chair’s Award in recognition and appreciation of his outstanding contributions to the Joint Medical Advisor Committee for London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care.  Furthermore, he was a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Studies in Family Medicine for many years exemplifying his lifelong commitment to fostering research in Family Medicine. In addition, Dr. Sangster was an outstanding leader in his role as Chair of the Academic Medical Organization of Southwestern Ontario (AMOSO) committee.

Dr. Sangster was known for his generosity and inclusivity. He created the J.F. Sangster Graduate Studies Family Medicine award with a vision of it contributing to the preservation of comprehensive Family Medicine in clinical practice, and supporting research within the Graduate Studies Program. This award also highlights his passion for advancing comprehensive care in Family Medicine through exemplary research.

Dr. Sangster’s death is a significant loss to the Family Medicine community. On behalf of the Department of Family Medicine at Western we send our condolences to his wife, Toula, and family.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday from 2-4, and from 6-8pm. The funeral will be held on Thursday at 1pm at the Westview Funeral Chapel.  Please note, the family is requesting that visitors wear masks.  A private family interment will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry (more specific information will be on the Westview Funeral Chapel site).

Drs. Jamie Wickett, Sonny Cejic and Judy Brown
On behalf of the Department of Family Medicine
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Western University