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 Dr. Stefan C.W. Grzybowski (1920-1997)

Truly an international physician, Dr. Grzybowski was born in Poland on 13 January l920, graduated from Warsaw University and went on to attend the Polish School of Medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland where he gained his bachelor's degree in medicine and surgery in 1945. This was followed with a doctorate in medicine four years later, at the same university.

Dr. Grzybowski died in his home on 9 September, 1997, after a long illness. His colleague, E.A. Allen wrote of him,

- Archibald
- Dalton
- Cook
- Fagan
- Ferguson
- Frappier
- Gage
- Grzybowski
- Jeanes
- O'Brien
- Porter
- Stewart
- Wherrett
- Wodehouse

"The size and worth of his body of work would have been enough to earn him an honored place among his peers, but it will be as a unique person that this vital, remarkable man will be remembered. He engaged the difficult problems of the disadvantaged and of working men and women with unquenchable energy, human concern, unwavering purpose, infectious humor, and transparent friendliness."
-- BC Medical Journal, October 1997.

In Britain in the early days of his medical career, he conducted research into childhood tuberculosis and very rapidly became recognized as an authority on the various forms of tuberculosis in children, diseases that were rampant in Britain at the end of the war. The textbook he wrote at that time was a classic medical treatise and was the standard textbook for many years.

Dr. Grzybowski came to Canada in 1954 and for ten years headed the Epidemiology and Research Section of the Ontario Division of Tuberculosis Prevention. He and his team in Ontario were the leading researchers in Canada into the use of new methods of treatment of tuberculosis with antibiotics and chemotherapy, and their work had a profound influence on the tuberculosis program in Canada. His great skill in challenging and stimulating those with whom he worked quickly became clear.

In 1964, Dr. Grzybowski was appointed Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, becoming full Professor and Head of the Division of Respiratory Disease at UBC in 1973, a position he held with international distinction until his retirement.

At UBC, he was quickly recognized as a great teacher, researcher and dedicated humanitarian physician. Besides his medical activities in Vancouver, he became involved in programs to combat tuberculosis among First Nation's people in northern British Columbia and in the Arctic. His landmark studies and programs for the First Nation's people with very high incidence of tuberculosis were recognized as medical pioneering of the highest value, both by Canada and internationally by the World Health Organization and the International Union Against Tuberculosis.

His knowledge and expertise was much sought after and he became a consultant for the World Health Organization in South East Asia, the Pan American Organization in the Caribbean and the International Union against Tuberculosis. He was also a Visiting Lecturer for many years in Japan, at their International Tuberculosis courses.