James A. Low, MD

James A. Low, MD

James A. Low, MD (February 15, 2015)

Dr. Harold A. Kaminetzky of Scotch Plains, NJ passed away on November 7, 2014 at the age of 91. He was born on September 6, 1923 in Chicago, IL.

It is with great sadness that we write about the passing of Dr. James A. Low, mentor, colleague and friend to many at Queen’s University. Dr. Low passed away at home with family on February 15 in his 90th year.

Dr. Low came to Kingston, Ontario in 1965 to assume the position of Professor and Head of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Queen’s University and the Chief of Service at the Kingston General Hospital. During the twenty years as Head, he was instrumental in shaping the Queen’s Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology into one of the most respected academic clinical departments and one of the most sought after postgraduate residency programs in the country. Furthermore, during his tenure as the Head, the department became recognized for academic excellence at the national and international levels in the areas of maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and gynecologic oncology. It was through the philosophy and ideals of Dr. Low that the department continues to flourish and remains to this day one of the country’s more successful academic departments of obstetrics and gynecology.

From his first peer-reviewed publication in 1959 to finishing his last manuscript the week before he died, Dr. Low has had one of the most influential and productive careers as an academic obstetrician and gynecologist in Canada. He is recognized as a world-renowned expert in the fields of fetal asphyxia (with particular notable work in fetal acid-base balance and pioneer work in establishing cord pH in normal and abnormal deliveries) and cerebral palsy but also in the field of female urinary incontinence, in particular on the use of pubovaginal sling. With all of these achievements, Dr. Low always identified that his successes have been a part of his role with the Department at Queen’s and has always promoted recognition of this university.

Following his retirement from clinical practice in the early 1990s, he embarked on a second career when he established and had been leading and promoting the Museum of Health Care at Kingston until recently.

Dr. Low has received many awards during his lengthy career including being named a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (United Kingdom), Queen’s University Distinguished Service Award, Kingston First Capital Honourable Achievement Award, Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal and this year, just prior to his death, Dr. Low was invested into the Order of Canada, specifically for his work with the Museum of Health Care.

– Submitted by Marie-Andrée Harvey, MD, MSc

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