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Queen’s remembers William Corbett

The Queen’s community is remembering Dr. William (Bill) Corbett, Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Health Sciences, who passed away on Aug. 9, 2021 at Arbour Heights Nursing Home in Kingston.

At the age of 17, Dr. Corbett studied medicine at Queen's University (Meds 56). In 1961, Dr. Corbett, with his young family, departed for London, England, where he continued his training for two years at the Post-Graduate Medical School of London and was among the first physicians in Canada to receive training in the application of a then nascent technology, the electron microscope, to pathology.

During this time, he held research fellowships in pathology from both Queen’s and the National Cancer Society. His research earned him a master’s of science from Queen’s in 1962. In 1963, he and his family returned to Canada where Dr. Corbett started his career in the Department of Pathology at Queen's, joining the staff at Hotel Dieu Hospital and later transferring to Kingston General Hospital.

Dr. Corbett taught pathology to generations of Queen’s medical students for 34 years until his retirement in 1996 as a full professor of medicine. He was recognized over the years by the students for his teaching excellence. Dr. Corbett was proud of his contributions to the growth of the department and felt blessed to have worked with so many exceptional colleagues and residents over the years.

“Bill was a superb teacher. He was passionate about hematopathology and highly respected by clinical and pathology colleagues, residents, and all the many laboratory staff who, under Bill's direction, were responsible for the excellent laboratory service provided to Kingston and surrounding area,” writes Dr. Lois Shepherd, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine. “Bill was active in the Pathology community regionally, provincially, nationally and internationally with many colleagues and friends from all those areas. When Bill retired in 1996, he left behind a wonderful legacy in Hematopathology at Queen's which has a reputation for collegiality and excellence that persists to this day. I highly valued his mentorship, friendship, and support he provided to me over the 10 years we worked together.”

Dr. Corbett was passionate about his boat, sports car, French wine, colleagues, residents, and trainees alike. He will not soon be forgotten by his loved ones and the Queen’s community he so deeply impacted.