ANATOMY: the study of the structure of the human body
Dr. Earle Farrington not only had a passion for medicine, he also enjoyed tennis, classical music, literature, the fine arts, and community service.
Ira Earle Farrington (10th Mar 1927 - 8 Nov 2013)
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Dr Ira Earle Farrington is the first certified Bahamian General Surgeon and Consultant Surgeon to the Princess Margaret Hospital. During his illustrious career, he made a great contribution to healthcare in The Bahamas, playing a fundamental role in the introduction of modern medical and surgical techniques. As Head of Surgery at the Princess Margaret Hospital for over 20 years, Dr Farrington performed over 30,000 surgeries in every surgical discipline. He is also known for his commitment to the poor and underprivileged.
Born on 10th March, 1927 in Nassau, The Bahamas, Farrington attended Eastern Primary School and Eastern Senior School. He later attended the prestigious Government High School where he received many prizes and served as Head Boy. After graduating, he worked as a clerk for a few years until he was awarded the first government scholarship in 1947.
Farrington wanted to study medicine to help people after becoming inspired by the doctors and nurses at a local hospital while receiving medical care for a broken arm. Driven by this desire, he used his scholarship to fund his studies at the University of Glasgow where he graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) in 1593, receiving the Hunterian Medal in Anatomy for outstanding academic achievement. After several years’ experience in surgery, he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (FRCPSG) in 1962.
The following year, he returned to The Bahamas where he joined the Princess Margaret Hospital as the first Bahamian Consultant Surgeon. As Head of the Department of Surgery, he devoted his time and knowledge to improving health standards in the country, as well as to training competent surgeons. He also served as the first chairman of the Health Professions Council in The Bahamas.
Dr Farrington received many awards for his outstanding contribution to the field of Medicine and Surgery including the Order of the British Empire, Member Class (MBE) and the Gold Medal for Medicine from the Government of The Bahamas. He was inducted as an Honorary Fellow of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas Academy of Medical Sciences. He received the humanitarian Lady Sassoon Golden Heart Award and was saluted as “the father of modern surgery and a modern day good Samaritan.”
For over 50 years, Dr Farrington served the people of The Bahamas by performing the operations even on patients who could not afford them. In 2007, MedDent Company Health Centre in Nassau named a surgical suite in his honour. He was also very active in community service as a member of the Police Services Commission, the St. Michael’s Methodist Church and the Gym Tennis Club. A modest man, he was highly respected as a role model to the youth of The Bahamas who aim to pursue a career in medicine. This was the legacy he left behind when he passed away on November 8, 2013.