Francis Edward Stabler

Francis (Frank) Edward Stabler (1902 – 1967) was an English surgeon, obstetrician and gynaecologist.

Educated in Darlington and Durham, Stabler was described as an ‘assiduous student, good at all things which interested him‘…spending his spare time outdoors, shooting, fishing and exploring the coastline and moors of Northumberland.

He became a dexterous surgeon and able diagnostician. He was a popular teacher of both medical and nursing students. In 1935 he was one of the original small team of obstetricians who introduced and operated the Newcastle Emergency Obstetric Service – the “Flying Squad“. He was an active member and one time President of the North of England Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society.

Eponymously affiliated with Stabler sign (1934) – atraumatic abdominal wall ecchymosis in the inguinal-pubic area associated with ectopic pregnancy.

  • Born September 23, 1902 in Darlington, England
  • 1925 – MBBS, University of Durham (MD 1928)
  • 1926-1928 Resident training at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle
  • 1928 – Honorary gynaecological and obstetrical registrar at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and the Princess Mary Maternity Hospital
  • 1928 – MD, University of Durham. Thesis on the lead treatment of cancer
  • 1929 – Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS)
  • 1935 – Developed and operated, with a small team of fellow obstetricians, the Newcastle Emergency Obstetric Service
  • 1939 – Honorary assistant gynaecologist to the Royal Victoria Infirmary and Princess Mary Maternity Hospital
  • WW II – Surgeon-Commander at the Chatham Naval Hospital (1939-1942); surgical specialist at the RN Auxiliary Hospital, Sherbome, Dorset (1942-1945); in charge of the surgical division of the RN Auxiliary Hospital at Trincomalee in Ceylon (1945-1946) – earning the Volunteer Reserve Decoration (VRD)
  • 1945 – Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FRCOG)
  • 1953 – Consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology to the South East Northumberland Group of Hospitals
  • Died October 13, 1967

Medical Eponyms
Stabler sign (1934)

Non-traumatic abdominal skin ecchymosis in the inguinal-pubic area associated with intra-abdominal haemorrhage, originally described in ectopic pregnancy

Major Publications



Eponymous terms


the person behind the name

Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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