Gordon Wright Mylks


Gordon Wright Mylks, MD, CM
1853 - 1910
Faculty of Medicine 1900 - 1940
Obstetrics & Gynaecology 1911 - 1940

GORDON MYLKS, born in 1876, grew up on a farm in Augusta Township. He attended Brockville Collegiate and subsequently entered the Faculty of Medicine at Queen's. He earned his MD degree in 1897 at the age of 21, graduating as gold medalist in his class.

After working as an intern at the Kingston General Hospital he established a flourishing general practice in Kingston in 1898. He restricted his practice to surgery, gynaecology and obstetrics in 1920.

Dr Mylks' association with the Faculty of Medicine at Queen's began with his appointment as a demonstrator in pathology and bacteriology in 1900. He moved to the Anatomy Department in 1901 as a demonstrator and as an assistant professor in 1904. He was professor of anatomy, 1905 - 1907, (until the appointment of Dr Hetherington) and then became an assistant professor of applied anatomy, an appointment which continued until 1911. Dr Mylk's teaching responsibilities in the clinical departments began in 1906 with his appointment as an assistant professor in surgery, an appointment which continued until 1911. In 1907, Dr Milks spent the summer in general clinical work in London, England. He returned to London in 1911 for further experience in obstetrics and gynaecology.

Dr Mylks' long association with obstetrics and gynaecology began in 1911 at the age of 35. He was appointed associate professor in obstetrics and gynaecology, and professor of paediatrics and was responsible for instruction of those subjects. His responsibility for paediatrics continued until 1917 when paediatrics became an independent department with its own professor.

Following the pattern of a few centres in North America, obstetrics and gynaecology were considered separate subjects. Dr Williamson was appointed professor of obstetrics in 1914 with Dr Mylks as professor of gynaecology. The first clinical assistant in gynaecology, Dr Morison, was appointed in 1924.

Dr Mylks assumed Dr Williamson's teaching load in 1928. It was recommended that he continue to teach both subjects and supervise the combined department. In 1929, at the age of 52, he was appointed professor of obstetrics and gynaecology with six clinical assistants in the combined department. He continued this responsibility for the next eleven years until his retirement in 1940 at the age of 63.

On his retirement, the Principal's report noted that Dr Mylks had won the respect of successive generations of students. Dr W.T. Connell cited his long and distinguished record as a physician in the city of Kingston. In 1948, the Kingston and Frontenac Medical Association held a dinner honouring the 50th anniversary of Dr Mylks' practice and Dr Etherington remarked that 'no one has made a greater contribution to the medical life of this city'.

Dr Mylks retired from practice in 1953 at the age of 77 and died while on a holiday in Florida, February 13, 1957, at the age of 81.

Dr Mylks was married to Lucy Row and subsequently to May Haydon of Kingston. They had two sons, Cordon and Henry, and one daughter, Helen.