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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

TURNBULL, RUPERT B. JR. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

TURNBULL, RUPERT B. JR. (3 Oct. 1913-18 Feb. 1981), surgeon, was born in Pasadena, Calif. to Irene Archibald and Judge Rupert Turnbull. He received his undergraduate degree from Claremont College (1936), his medical degree from McGill University, Canada (1941), served at hospitals in San Francisco and the Panama Canal Zone, and was a field surgeon with the 1st Marine Div. in the Pacific. He came to Cleveland to complete his surgical training at CLEVELAND CLINIC FOUNDATION, and developed a surgical technique to make a stomach opening for the intestines (ileostomy/colostomy). Turnbull became the world's authority on ulcerative colitis and the surgeon to recognize the importance of postsurgical therapy for colostomy and ileostomy patients. As the "father of enterostomal therapy," Turnbull along with Norman Gill founded the world's first school of enterostomal therapy and the Internatl. Assoc. of Enterostomal Therapists.

Turnbull published over 185 scientific articles, and along with Frank L. Weakey wrote the standard Atlas of Intestinal Stomas. He served on the editorial boards of various publications, including Disease of the Colon and Rectum. In 1976, the Rupert B. Turnbull Surgical Society was formed by former residents and fellows who had trained under him. Turnbull was head of the Dept. of Colon & Rectal Surgery at Cleveland Clinic until 1976, when he became senior surgeon. In 1978 he left Cleveland to take a position at Santa Barbara Medical Foundation in California. He was an active member of Christ Episcopal Church. Rupert married Dougal Isabel Fisher in 1938. The Turnbulls had 2 sons, Robert and John, and a daughter, Dae. Turnbull died while vacationing in Honolulu.


Rupert B. Turnbull Papers, Archives, Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Cleveland Medical Society Bulletin (1976).

Last Modified: 22 Jul 1997 04:51:41 PM

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