Dr. Charles Sorbie had a very distinguished clinical and research career in health sciences. After earning his medical degree and surgical training in Scotland, Dr. Sorbie moved to Canada in 1965 to assume the role of professor at Queen’s University and Orthopaedic Surgeon at Kingston General, Hotel Dieu, and St. Mary’s of the Lake Hospitals.
He was key in the development of the Orthopaedic Residency Training Program at Queen’s University. In fact, he was the Program’s first chairman. He guided this program in orthopaedics for numerous years and during that time took on the role of not only nurturing and mentoring many residents who later became distinguished surgeons in their own right, but also initiated orthopaedic research at Queen’s University.
From the beginning, the Clinical Mechanics Group was a collaborative research group which included mechanical engineers, rehabilitation scientists and orthopaedic surgeons. This group later formed the nucleus that is now the Human Mobility Research Centre at Queen’s University. Dr. Sorbie’s greatest research distinction is his founding role in the Human Mobility Research Centre. This multidisciplinary centre at Queen’s University which has both a national and international reputation for advances in orthopaedic, biomechanical research, and tissue engineering, includes surgeons, rehabilitation specialists, psychologists, engineers, computer scientists, and operations staff. Together, they are leaders in the creation of non-invasive procedures for bone and joint disorders from which a state-of-the-art image guided surgery project has evolved. In addition, he and his colleagues designed the Sorbie Questor elbow replacement.
By 1984, Dr. Sorbie later became Head of the Department of Surgery and took on this role with vigor and imagination for ten years. He then continued as an orthopaedic surgeon in the community and continued to see patients and support the Queen’s Postgraduate Medical Educational Program. Dr. Sorbie also continued to be very active in research and presented papers at many national and international conferences.
For several years Dr. Sorbie was a highly regarded leader in research in Orthopaedic Surgery. His accolades ranged from publications in dozens of refereed journals and abstracts, and principle inventor/co-inventor of several patented surgical devices. In addition, he was a very prominent national and international invited lecturer in his field of study.
Dr. Sorbie served on numerous Queen’s University committees ranging from the Senate, Faculty Council, and Faculty Postgraduate Education Committee. In addition to these University committees, his memberships extended to external committees such as Chairman of the Committee of Ontario Surgical Chairmen, Provincial Emergency Health Services Committee, and Canadian Association of University Surgical Chairman. He also was an acclaimed member of the following editorial boards: Canadian Journal of Surgery, Journal of Arthroplasty, Orthopaedics Today, Journal of Orthopedics, Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, and Hong Kong Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery.
On a national level, Dr. Sorbie served as the Canadian Association of University Surgical Chairmen, a member and Chairman of various Canadian Orthopaedic Association subcommittees, President of both the Canadian Orthopaedic Research Society and Canadian Orthopaedic Association. He also served for several years as an Examiner for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
On an international level, Dr. Sorbie was an Advisor to the Director of The International Centre for Orthopaedic Surgery Research and Training (World Health Organization Collaborating Group), and served for three years as President of the Societe Internationale de Chirurgie Orthopedique et de Traumatologie (SICOT). He also functioned as an Examiner for the Hong Kong College of Surgeons for many years.
Dr. Sorbie taught at Queen’s University for 45 years. He was a man who had distinguished himself at all levels and in all endeavours he had undertaken. Dr. Sorbie was a credit to his profession.