December 30, 2015 11:45 am
Updated: December 30, 2015 2:48 pm

‘A terrible loss’: son charged in death of well-known Peterborough doctor

Dr. Andrew Chan, 50, was found dead in his home early on Monday morning.

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PETERBOROUGH, Ont. — A southern Ontario community was mourning the loss of a well-known local doctor on Wednesday as his 19-year-old son faces murder charges.

Peterborough police said Dr. Andrew Chan, 50, was found dead in his home early on Monday morning. A woman was discovered at the same home and police said she is now in critical but stable condition.

Police did not identify the cause of death, but said they were first summoned to the scene after two separate calls about stabbings in the home.

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Thomas Chan is now facing a murder charge, the degree of which will be determined by a Crown attorney at a later date.

Dr. Michael Hartleib, chief of medicine at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre, said the community has not yet come to terms with the death of his longtime colleague.

“Andrew was a very important component of our medical community,” Hartleib said in a telephone interview. “We’re sort of in a state of shock here in terms of all this…In terms of the gap that’s going to bee left, it’ll be days to weeks before I think we’re going to truly understand the depth of our loss.”

Shortly after news of the slaying broke, tributes began surfacing on social media.

“Shocked and saddened by the news of Dr. Chan’s murder. He was a kind, kind man,” wrote one Twitter user.

“Dr. Chan was an excellent doctor, a terrible loss. He will be missed,” wrote another.

The Hong Kong-born Chan worked as a gastroenterologist at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre, according to a biography on the hospital’s website. Hartleib said he also ran an endoscopy clinic in addition to his duties at the hospital.

The biography said Chan obtained his early medical training in Liverpool, England before relocating to Canada in 1991.

He pursued specialist training at the University of Toronto and at Queen’s University before opening his gastroenterology practice in 1996.

Hartleib said Chan immerged as a leader at the hospital who was constantly pushing for change to improve patient care. He said Chan had a particular interest in the technology associated with his field, but did not lose sight of the importance of bedside manner.

“I know several of my own patients, as well as in fact some personal friends, who went to Andrew and really commented on the fact that the quality of care he provided was second-to-none,” Hartleib said. “It was innovative, and they really liked his personal style as well.”

Chan’s son Thomas earned some prominence in local media for success as a high school rugby player.

An April 2012 profile said Chan, then 15, had been named to the national under-17 team that had just completed competition in England. According to the article, his father had flown out to watch his son play.

The profile said Thomas Chan entertained dreams of being named to Canada’s Olympic rugby team in 2016.

Hartleib said Andrew Chan was careful to keep his family life private and rarely discussed his loved ones at work.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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