BChir Camb 1959, MB 1960; MRCS LRCP 1960; FRCPath 1980, M 1968.
Kirk was born on 30 July 1934, the son of Robert Stewart Kirk, an anaesthetist. He studied medicine at Cambridge and at the London Hospital where he was house physician. In 1961 Kirk was appointed demonstrator in pathology at the University of Newcastle, and in 1963 he came to the University of Manchester as assistant lecturer in pathology. He was promoted to lecturer in 1966, a position he resigned in 1971 to become consultant pathologist (morbid anatomy) to Lancashire Area Health Authority. Kirk was a member of the Pathological Society of Great Britain, the British Society of Clinical Cytologists, the North West Association for Clinical Cytology and MMS. Kirk later went to the Netherlands where he was histopathologist to Arnheim and Doetinchem Hospitals.