Department of Medicine

In memoriam: Dr. John Killoran Wilson

Jan 18, 2019

Dr. JK WilsonDr. JK Wilson The Department of Medicine mourns Dr. John K. Wilson who passed away on Sunday, January 13, 2019.

Dr. Wilson graduated from medical school in 1948 and began his internship at St. Michael's Hospital. As a young physician, Dr. Wilson did six years of postgraduate training in Toronto and London, England, returning to St. Michael's Hospital as a staff cardiologist in 1954. In 1970, he became the first Chief of Cardiology, a position he held for 14 years. Dr. Wilson achieved the rank of Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, and retired from St. Michael's in 1993. He will also be remembered for his mentorship to trainees and faculty.

In a time when heart surgery was in its early stages of development, Dr. Wilson was at the forefront of innovation. In 1963, he performed the first external cardiac shock (cardioversion) treatment in Canada for serious and life-threatening rhythm disturbances of the heart. In 1968, working with Dr. Clare Baker, a transplant team was established and did pioneering work without the benefit of more recent anti-rejection medication. The first heart transplant patient lived for six and a half years - the longest of any heart transplant patient in Canada at that time.