A native of Trinidad who moved to Vancouver in the 1960’s to attend medical school at UBC, Dr. Durity became UBC’s first neurosurgical resident. After two decades as a member of the division of Neurosurgery of the Department of Surgery of UBC, with a special interest in skull base surgery, he headed the division for twelve years, retiring in 2003.
During his career, he travelled far and wide to learn and bring back to British Columbia new surgical techniques and treatments. He promoted the acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment, often single-handedly raising private funds. He established the first Canadian intracranial pressure monitoring unit, changing the management of acute head injuries. With his help, a Laser Surgery program was established at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). He participated in the establishment of an international spinal cord research centre at VGH, called ICORD (International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries), which was inaugurated in the fall of 2008. Since becoming Professor Emeritus, he has worked as a “neurosurgery locum” at the Children and Women’s Hospital of BC as well chairing committees at the Vancouver Foundation.
Under his stewardship, the division of Neurosurgery added many new sub-specialities and expanded its training program and its research endeavours. He became a founding member of the North American Skull Base Society and the Trauma Association of Canada. He was featured in the national press in 1998 as one of Canada’s “100 Best Doctors.” He was recognized by his peers locally and nationally by numerous awards, including the Primus Inter Pares (Vancouver Medical Association) and the Cam Coady Medal of Excellence (BC Medical Association). In 2005, the provincial government awarded him the Order of British Columbia. Dr. Durity was the recipient of the 2011 UBC Alumni Association Achievement Award for Outstanding Faculty Community Service.
During his tenure as Head, he became interested in establishing a Neurosciences Centre of Excellence at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana, and became a founding director of the Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation. Since his retirement, he travelled twice to Ghana to mentor its neurosurgeons, especially helping them establish trans-phenoidal surgery for pituitary tumours. He remains keenly interested in the education and training of neurosurgeons at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, travelling to Accra in the fall of 2008 with the current head of the division of Neurosurgery, Dr. Gary Redekop.
Dr. Durity brings a strong commitment to capacity building in the field of Clinical Neuroscience to better the lives of the Ghanaian people and continues to travel to gather support from individuals, government and philanthropic agencies for the benefit of the Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation.
HONOURS: A.D. McKenzie Award, for Undergraduate & Postgraduate Teaching, 2001; H. Rocke Robertson Award in Surgery, Best Surgical Teaching, 3rd Year Medicine, 2000 & 1986; Award for Clinical Excellence, Vancouver Hospital & Health Sciences Centre, 1995; and Order of British Columbia, 2005.