Dr Philip White was born on 20 August 1945 in Bristol in southern England. Dr White received his medical degree from King’s College London and St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London. After spending several years in family practice, Dr White emigrated to Canada in 1975—first to Moose Jaw and then to Kelowna in 1980 where he set up a practice in the Rutland area. He rapidly built a very busy practice and provided exemplary service to his patients right up until he became ill, and his concern for his patients continued throughout his illness.
Among his other professional interests, Dr White served as the medical director and one of the original chairs of the BC Cancer Agency’s Family Practice Oncology Network since its establishment in 2002. Under his leadership the Network developed its nationally renowned General Practitioners in Oncology Training Program. Dr White also led the development and publication of a collection of cancer care guidelines, customized specifically for family physicians. A highly regarded family physician in Kelowna and chief of staff at Kelowna General Hospital from 1983 to 2001, Dr White had the insight, expertise, and charm to drive the Network’s success. He was a very active member of the BCMA/Doctors of BC, serving on its Board of Directors and the Board of the Society of General Practitioners of BC. Dr White also chaired and was a member of several committees. He was a Board member of Ovarian Cancer Canada and took part enthusiastically in many other initiatives dedicated to improving primary care oncology.
In 1996 and 1997 Dr White chaired the Standing Industry Advisory Committee on Blood and Blood Products, which prepared the recommendations surrounding British Columbia’s approach to the hepatitis C issue, including testing and lookback recommendations.
Dr White was also instrumental in setting up the first community walk-in clinic in Rutland, which was owned and staffed by local GPs and ER physicians.
Dr White was a mentor to many of his colleagues and always challenged them to take on new tasks and responsibilities. On a personal note, he encouraged and supported me as I took on various positions within Doctors of BC and the CMA.
Philip enjoyed flying (he had his private pilot’s license), skiing, sailing, squash, fly-fishing, and restoring cars. His philosophy was to stay young as old as possible. Philip, you certainly did that and you will be missed by colleagues and patients alike.
Philip passed away after a short illness and is survived by his wife, Marlies, and his two sons, Philip (Annette) and their son Aidan (Kelowna), and Andrew (Jennine) and their children Ella and Finnley (Hong Kong).
A Celebration of Life will be held on 2 April 2016 (2:00 p.m. to 5:00 pm) at Two Eagles Golf Course and Academy, 3509 Carrington Road, West Kelowna.
—Michael Golbey, MD
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