Wesley Bourne, M.D.*
WESLEY BOURNE, M.D.
Born in Barbados, British West Indies, Dr. Bourne received his M.D. and C.M. degrees from
McGill University in 1911. In 1924 he received the M.Sc. degree from that institution.
He became interested in anesthesiology while he was an intern at Royal Victoria Hospital and he
rose in prominence throughout the years as one of the respected leaders of his specialty.
Recognition of Dr. Bourne’s work came early when he was elected president of the International
Anesthesia Research Society in 1925. He held this post again in 1940.
A member of the ASA since 1936, he held many important posts culminating in the Society’s
presidency in 1942. Dr. Bourne served the ASA as a member of the Educational Committee,
Chairman of the Anesthesiology Essay Committee, an advisory member of the Awards and
Honors Committee, a member of the Board of Directors from 1942 to 1945, Vice Chairman of
the Advisory Council, and a member of the Committee on Medical Schools and Post Graduate
In 1957, the ASA Board of Directors elected Dr. Bourne an Honorary member of the Society as
recognition for his many accomplishments.
In 1935, Dr. Bourne was the first physician to receive the Hickman medal from the Royal
Society of Medicine in London. The Hickman medal was founded in 1931 with the stipulation
that the first award should be made in 1935.
Dr. Bourne joined the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps in 1914. He held the rank of Captain
during World War I. He returned to the Medical Corps during World War II as a Lt. Colonel.
Dr. Bourne was a prolific writer and had more than 100 scientific papers published as well as a
book, Mysterious Waters to Guard.
In 1954, Dr. Bourne was named Professor Emeritus of the Department of Anesthesiology,
McGill University School of Medicine, Montreal, Canada.
ASA Newsletter. 1965;29(4).