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The Doctors Kerr Are In

June 13, 2024

Father-son duo share the same last name, the stage, and now—a profession

A younger man in a black graduation cap and gown smiles at the camera. A smiling older man in a blue suit and pink tie has his arm around the younger man's shoulders.

Dr. Evan Kerr and Dr. Paul Kerr at Dr. Evan Kerr’s graduation from the Max Rady College of Medicine this past May.

For Dr. Evan Kerr, Take Your Kid to Work Day wasn’t spent watching the clock while spinning around in an office chair. Fifteen at the time, Evan spent the day in a Health Sciences Centre operating room observing wide-eyed as his father, Dr. Paul Kerr, head and neck surgical oncologist, operated on a patient.

While Dr. Evan Kerr was always interested in science and knew he wanted to work in health care, it wasn’t until that day that he realized he too wanted to be a head and neck surgeon. Fuelled by this, Evan pursued a medical degree and graduated from the Max Rady College of Medicine this past May. With immense pride, Dr. Evan Kerr will join his father at HSC Winnipeg in September, eager to begin his five-year residency as a head and neck surgeon.

A sepia toned photo shows four doctors in surgical wear, including gowns, caps, and face masks, looking at the camera.

Dr. Evan Kerr (second from right) with Dr. Jordan Hochman and team performing a cochlear implant.

“I have seen firsthand how technically sound my dad is and how admired he is by his colleagues—I am very proud to share the same last name,” says Dr. Evan Kerr.

It is no wonder why Dr. Evan Kerr is proud, and admittedly a little intimidated, to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Dr. Paul Kerr has been a pillar of the surgical department at HSC for three decades—10 of those years spent as Head, Department of Otolaryngology (ENT) – Head and Neck Surgery.  Renowned for his skill and compassion, Dr. Paul Kerr is highly regarded by patients and colleagues alike. Along with HSC ENT surgeon Dr. Donna Sutherland, Dr. Paul Kerr was a pioneer of minimally invasive transoral, and transnasal endoscopic, image guided tumour surgery in Canada.

A black and white photo of two doctors performing surgery. The doctors are standing in front of two computer monitors labelled 'Neurosurgery'; the image on the computer screen shows a photo of the inside of a patient's skull.

Dr. Paul Kerr (right) with an ear, nose, and throat resident doing an endoscopic image-guided skull base case with equipment partly funded by the HSC Foundation.

For the father-son duo, their bond runs deeper yet. Along with sharing a last name and profession, they share the stage. At 17, Dr. Evan Kerr picked up the bass guitar and joined his father in The Specialists—a band featuring some of Manitoba’s top doctors in their respective fields.

Two men standing on stage performing as part of a band. Both men are holding guitars and standing in front of microphones.

L-R: Dr. Paul Kerr and Dr. Evan Kerr are two of five members who make up local band: The Specialists.

When asked what advice Dr. Paul Kerr will pass down to his son, he stresses never forgetting that it is truly a privilege to care for patients at this level. Forming strong relationships with patients, as well as colleagues, is key to the profession. Dr. Paul Kerr is grateful for the relationships he has formed with nurses, support staff, and all allied health professionals on the ENT – Head and Neck Surgery unit. He is also grateful for the support of HSC Foundation donors. “Thanks to donor generosity, we were able to get transnasal endoscopic surgery off the ground with major equipment purchases; we built a brand-new clinic, a vestibular lab for testing balance, and more.”

What’s left to decide as Dr. Evan Kerr begins working at HSC is whether he will be paged as Dr. Kerr Junior, while Dr. Paul Kerr remains Dr. Kerr, or if Dr. Paul Kerr will be promoted to Dr. Kerr Senior once his son enters the scene.

What is known is that while Dr. Paul Kerr isn’t quite ready to retire and pass the torch on to his son, he will pass the scalpel, and we are grateful to have these two talented surgeons saving lives at HSC, Manitoba’s hospital.

This Father’s Day, we celebrate not only the bond between the Kerrs but also the countless other fathers and children whose relationships inspire and shape who they become. Here’s to the fathers who guide us, the lessons they impart, and the legacies they create.


The investments we make today will ensure a tradition of surgical excellence and innovation for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren. To support Operation Excellence, a campaign for surgical innovation, please donate here or call 204-515-5612 or 1-800-679-8493 (toll-free).


By Natasha Havrilenko