Roscoe Reid Graham, a Canadian surgeon trained at the University of Toronto, was a true pioneer in the field of general surgery. Although he may be best known for his omental patch repair of perforated duodenal ulcers-often referred to as the "Graham patch"-he had a number of other significant accomplishments that decorated his surgical career. Dr. Graham is credited with being the first surgeon to successfully enucleate an insulinoma. He ventured to do an essentially brand new operation based solely on his patient's symptoms and physical findings, a courageous move that even some of the most talented surgeons would shy away from. He also spent a large portion of his career dedicated to the study of rectal prolapse, working tirelessly to rid his patients of this awful affliction. He was recognized by a number of different surgical associations for his operative successes and was awarded membership to those both in Canada and the United States. Despite all of these accolades, Dr. Graham remained grounded and always fervent in his dedication to the patient and their presenting symptom(s), reminding us that to do anything more would be "meddlesome." In an age when medical professionals are often all too eager to make unnecessary interventions, it is imperative that we look back at our predecessors such as Roscoe Reid Graham, for they will continually redirect us toward our one and only obligation: the patient.
Recommended CitationPiper, BA, Christine C.; Yeo, MD, Charles J.; and Cowan, MD, Scott W., "Roscoe Reid Graham (1890 to 1948): a Canadian pioneer in general surgery." (2014). Department of Surgery, Gibbon Society Historical Profiles. Paper 23.