Douglas R Morton, MD, FACS
Dr. Douglas Morton was an experienced and respected surgeon. Rooted in Illinois' northeastern lake shore communities, his greatest burdon came early in life with the loss of his father the day he entered Beloit College. Earning a degree in chemistry, he was offered a full scholarship to Harvard Medical School, which "after much thought" he decided to accept. After graduating at the top of his class and at the age of twenty three, he returned to Illinois to start surgical residency training at the University of Chicago with the legendary Alexander Brunschwig. Upon completion of his residency he served in the US Army as Chief of Surgery at Fort George Wright in Spokane. Dr. Morton then sought additional fellowships, completing a cardio-thoracic surgery program at The Ohio State University and a surgical oncology program at Memorial Hospital's Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute in New York. Board Certified in General Surgery and Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Dr. Morton turned down the Chief of Surgery position at Presbyterian St. Luke's Hospital in Chicago to start his Elgin practice in 1953. He was a member of numerous medical professional societies, including the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Radium Society, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the James Ewing Society before it became the Society of Surgical Oncology. An expert in the surgical treatment of tumors of the head and neck, Dr. Morton was a co-founder of the Society of Head and Neck Surgeons, now the American Head and Neck Society. He served as president of the Midwest Surgical Association and was an active member of the American Cancer Society.
Visits from Dr. Morton's old friends became visiting professorships in Elgin. Those visits included prominant names in surgery such as Oliver Beahrs, Edward Scanlon and Jerome Urban. In 1951, while at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute, Dr. Morton employed his training in thoracic surgery to help Dr. Urban develope and perform the first radical mastectomy with resection of the internal mammary lymph nodes. Dr. Urban later became well known for this procedure and when he visited Elgin, Dr. Morton performed one on a patient with advanced breast cancer who had many such nodes involved. Our office records indicate that she lived free of disease to an advanced age.
In 2008, Dr. Morton became sereously ill and, with his loving family always at his side, he passed away peacefully. His surgical skill, friendly manner and professionalism was an inspiration to all who knew him well, and a model for us at Elgin Surgeons, Ltd. He was a great mentor.