LIVES LIVED: Dedicated to department and community
April 16, 2015
Dr. James A. Low came to Kingston in 1965 to assume the position of Professor and Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Queen’s University and the Chief of Service at the Kingston General Hospital. During the 20 years as Head, he was instrumental in shaping the Queen’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology into one of the most respected academic clinical departments and one of the most sought after postgraduate residency programs in the country.
Furthermore, during his tenure as the Head, the department became recognized for academic excellence at the national and international levels in the areas of maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and gynecologic oncology. It was through the philosophy and ideals of Dr. Low that the department continues to flourish and remains to this day one of the country’s more successful academic departments of obstetrics and gynaecology.
At various times during his career, Dr. Low served as Secretary/Treasurer, Vice President and President of the Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Canada (APOG), Chair of the Specialty Committee for Obstetrics and Gynecology and Chair of the Manpower Committee for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Chair of the Postgraduate Manpower Committee of the Council of Ontario Faculties of Medicine, Chair of the Perinatal Medicine Committee for the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) and member of the Editorial Board for the two most prestigious journals in our specialty; Obstetrics & Gynecology and the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
From his first peer-reviewed publication in 1959 to finishing his last manuscript the week before he died, Dr. Low has had one of the most influential and productive careers as an academic obstetrician and gynecologist in Canada. He is recognized as a world-renowned expert in the fields of fetal asphyxia, cerebral palsy and female urinary incontinence. With all of these achievements, Dr. Low always identified that his successes have been a part of his role with the Department at Queen’s and has always promoted recognition of the university.
Following his retirement from clinical practice in the early 1990s, he embarked on a second career when he established and had been leading and promoting the Museum of Health Care at Kingston until recently.
Dr. Low has received many awards during his lengthy career including being named a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (United Kingdom), Queen’s University Distinguished Service Award, Kingston First Capital Honourable Achievement Award, Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal and this year, just prior to his death, Dr. Low was invested into the Order of Canada, specifically for his work with the Museum of Health Care.
Dr. Graeme Smith is Professor and Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Professor Emeritus Hugh Gorwill is a former member of the Department of Obstetrics and is the President and Chair of the Board of Directors for the Museum of Health Care at Kingston.