Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

Brain Awareness Week: March 13-19, 2017

Celebrate the advancements in Canadian brain research

The Canadian
Medical Hall of Fame

Recognizing and celebrating Canadian heroes whose work has advanced health, here and around the world, and inspires the pursuit of careers in the health sciences.

Honouring Excellence. Preserving History. Connecting Generations.

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No one has done more than Professor Bliss to preserve and commemorate the legacy of Canada’s first Nobel Laureates whose discovery alleviated suffering for millions and brought attention to the intellectual achievements of an emerging nation.  In telling this great story, Dr. Bliss is careful to recognize the contributions of Banting’s collaborators J. J. R. MacLeod, C.H. Best and J.B. Collip.  It is characteristic of his historical analysis that his account of insulin’s discovery remains a heroic celebration while also acknowledging the human limitations and complexities of the great men involved.Professor Bliss’ extensive oeuvre also includes Plague: How Smallpox Devastated Montreal (1991), Harvey Cushing: A Life in Surgery (1999) and the now standard biography William Osler: A Life in Medicine (2005), a classic examination of the legendary Canadian physician who is also a founding father of modern medicine.  Professor Bliss’ taut and authoritative recreations of medical history provide professional and lay readers alike with a deeper appreciation for medical achievements and a better understanding of their context and conditions.  The whole world of scientific discovery and the art of healing is made real and compelling as a profoundly human phenomenon.Through a lifetime of writing, lecturing and teaching, Professor Bliss has reached an enormous audience of men and women curious about the great achievements of medical science we now enjoy.  His work enshrines these achievements as durable memories and contributes to building a world founded on enlightened application of medical science for the benefit of future generations. ~WLH
2016 Inductee
Dr. Cohen has received many accolades, including the Federation of Medical Women of Canada Ortho Award for the Promotion of Women's Health, the Governor General's Award, and the Leadership Development Award from the American Association of Medical Colleges. Dr. Cohen was also honoured with lifetime membership in the Ontario Medical Association and senior membership in the Canadian Medical Association, where she has also been awarded the prestigious CMA Medal of Service. Another measure of Dr. Cohen’s contributions to medicine is through the numerous awards and distinctions that bear her name. The annual Eli Lilly-May Cohen Chair in Women’s Health at McMaster was created in 2002, and complements the CMA-May Cohen Award for Women Mentors and the AFMC-May Cohen Equity, Diversity, and Gender Award.Securing institutional recognition of women’s health issues has transformed the educational experience of all health students, male and female, and has enhanced the status of women in medical practice and in medical faculties throughout Ontario and Canada.  Dr. Cohen’s long career has been instrumental in advancing enlightened treatment for women in areas ranging from breast cancer to spousal abuse.  If today we take these achievements almost for granted, we can do so because of the efforts of courageous pioneers like Dr. Cohen who overcame great obstacles and opened medical practice to a deeper appreciation of women’s needs. ~WLH
2016 Inductee
Joining McMaster University’s medical faculty in 1983, Dr. Guyatt made groundbreaking contributions over the next 30 years in the measurement of health-related quality of life. While serving as director of the internal medicine residency program from 1990-1997, he led the initial development of the concept of EBM, and then the formation of an international group that further developed these concepts with landmark publications in the Journal of the American Medical Association. His series of more than 35 articles - the Users’ Guides to the Medical Literature - has provided the basis of EBM curricula in medical schools and residency programs nationally and internationally, making Canada a recognized leader in EBM.Dr. Guyatt’s exemplary ability to summarize a body of evidence succinctly and informatively allowed him to play a key role in the development of the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach, now adopted by more than 90 organizations worldwide.  Dr. Guyatt is one of Canada’s most cited researchers with more than a thousand publications.  As a researcher, theorist, educator and mentor, Dr. Guyatt’s influence has been wide and deep.  His extraordinary record of often-cited and enduringly important publication has helped build rational and effective medical practice in the service of patients as individuals with unique needs and circumstances.Dr. Guyatt’s achievements have helped ensure that advancements in medical science will continue to support and improve quality of life for patients throughout Canada and the world. -WLH
2016 Inductee
Co-author of more than 300 scholarly publications spanning multiple medical fields, inaugural governor of the new Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Dr. Naylor has worked tirelessly to improve the scope, funding, and organization of health research in Canada.  Heading the federal inquiry into Canada’s national response to the SARS epidemic (2003), Dr. Naylor was instrumental in establishing the Public Health Agency of Canada leading to the appointment of Canada’s first Chief Public Health Officer.  More recently, as Canada’s representative, Dr. Naylor co-authored the internationally influential report of the Global Commission on Educating Health Professionals for the 21st Century and has served, by government appointment, as chair of the national advisory panel on health care innovation.Recipient of numerous awards and honours, including the Order of Canada, Dr. Naylor has used his influence in his many and varied offices to promote medical research in Canada and to improve its institutional deliveries.  He has worked as an indispensible mediator between the imperatives of government and the mission of medical care founded in robust research.Dr. Naylor’s diverse contributions as physician-researcher, educator, administrator, and his powerful advocacy for excellence in the provision of health services have enhanced and strengthened national and international health care.  His work has addressed challenges facing broad-based health delivery in a global context and has materially advanced the cause of medical science in service to Canadians and the world community. -WLH
2016 Inductee
Dr. Tupper later held leadership roles in the growing city of Halifax as chief medical officer, as a member of the surgical staff of the provincial and city hospital, and as president of the Medical Society of Nova Scotia. Turning his attention to politics, Dr. Tupper was elected into the Nova Scotia Assembly in 1855 and served as Premier from 1864 to 1867.  Despite powerful opposition, Dr. Tupper helped pass the Free Education Act and eventually led Nova Scotia into Confederation. The founding president of the Canadian Medical Association in 1867, he served for three consecutive terms. He also chaired the committee responsible for creating Dalhousie Medical School.Now 100 years after Dr. Tupper’s death, medical science and practice have progressed to levels beyond imagination for those who worked in primitive conditions without electric lights, reliable diagnostic technologies, or even something as basic as effective treatments for pain and infection.  Yet the work of early medical pioneers like Dr. Tupper helped lay the foundation of institutions that sustain scientific progress today.    Dr. Tupper, in his long career as a federal cabinet minister, remained ever a physician and was known for keeping his medical bag under his seat in the House of Commons.  In the case of Dr. Tupper, during his political tenure as John A. McDonald’s “right hand man,” there was indeed a doctor in the house. -WLH
2016 Inductee
Combining scientific excellence with a social conscience on a global scale, Dr. Wainberg’s research and collaborations are acknowledged as having helped save millions of lives. Currently the director of the McGill University AIDS Centre at the Jewish General Hospital, he has revolutionized our understanding of HIV/AIDS at medical, epidemiological and political levels. He is well-known for his involvement in 1989 in the vastly important initial identification of lamivudine (3TC) as an antiviral drug, now one of the most widely used drugs in the treatment of HIV.While president of the International AIDS Society in 2000, he brought the XIIIth International Conference on AIDS to Durban, South Africa, drawing unprecedented international attention to the lack of access to anti-HIV drugs in developing countries, which remains a great challenge to containing the ravages of this cruel disease.  Most recently, Dr. Wainberg has turned his attention to achieving a cure for HIV infection based on the possibility that HIV may not be able to become resistant to certain new compounds that block viral replication.The fight against AIDS continues throughout the world.  The ability of modern medicine to understand and respond to crises of this dimension, both scientifically and politically, is foundational for sustaining our developing global civilization, and Dr. Wainberg, working with his national and international colleagues, has significantly advanced the day when AIDS may be finally eradicated.  In that hope, shared by the world, he continues his profoundly important work.  -WLH
2016 Inductee