Dr Zelick Perler (Zeke) loved medicine and never wanted to retire, so it was fortunate that he was able to continue to practise until he was 81.
Dr Zelick Perler (Zeke) loved medicine and never wanted to retire, so it was fortunate that he was able to continue to practise until he was 81. His patients kept returning, over many years, to seek out caring, professional treatment and compassionate advice.
Those who knew him well, however, all realized that he was, first and foremost, a family man. He is survived by his beloved wife, Barbara; children, Tony (Jackie), Laura (Timothy), Harry (Anita), Craig (Sarah), and Mark; his sister, Molly; and grandchildren, Jonathan (Michelle), Brielle (David), Kelsie, Alison, Kyra, Molly, Angus, Anthony, and Evelyn.
His early childhood was spent in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, but he later moved to Edmonton, where he grew up and studied medicine. After Zeke and Barbara married in 1959, they moved to Vancouver so he could do a year of general medicine at VGH before spending 2 years in Powell River. He then returned to Vancouver to specialize in urology, and after a fellowship year at Presbyterian Hospital in New York in 1966–67, he settled down in Vancouver, which he insisted was “the best city in the world.” He practised at St. Paul’s, Mount Saint Joseph, and Shaughnessy (Veterans) Hospitals. During his career Zeke practised with Drs Andrew Moore, Larry Goldenberg, Ercole Leone, and Brian Mayson.
Zeke was a dedicated citizen of the Division of Urology at the University of British Columbia, where he was a clinical associate professor. He was always a reliable and enthusiastic participant in rounds and hospital committees at St. Paul’s and Mount Saint Joseph. For many years he was director of undergraduate education and co-chair of CME for the UBC Division, developing the urology curriculum for undergraduates. He served as board member and president of both the BC Urological Society (1987) and the Northwest Urological Society (1992). He was a founding director of the Sullivan Urology Foundation and served selflessly on the board until he was too ill to attend.
Zeke passed on his love of medicine and caring for his patients to generations of urology residents and medical students. This is one of his greatest legacies. Even the most junior staff learned diagnostic techniques and surgical skills that would be the foundation of their urology careers. An important clinical principle he passed on to students was to consider the bigger picture of a patient’s life: How would the proposed treatment impact the patient’s quality of life and of those around him or her? He took great care in personalizing the optimal treatment for each and every patient.
After almost 50 years in practice, he suffered a difficult year of poor health before slipping away peacefully in his sleep at his second home, St. Paul’s Hospital. He will be sorely missed by his loving family, who absolutely adored him and will do their best to emulate his special attitude of caring for family, colleagues, and friends.
—Laura Lim and Barbara Perler
—Paula and S. Larry Goldenberg, MDs
—Lynn Stothers, MD
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