Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

“What you think, matters.”

© Irma Coucill and CMHF
2013 Inductee

Arnold Naimark, MD

August 24, 1933, Winnipeg, Manitoba
MD - The University of Manitoba
A builder, a leader, a pioneer – these are some of the words used to describe the impact of Dr. Arnold Naimark. Dr. Naimark transformed the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba from a “clinically-focused prairie school” into one of Canada’s major academic health sciences institutions. His leadership led to the development of a widely emulated model of integration of medical education and research with community needs.

Dr. Naimark received his medical degree in 1957 from The University of Manitoba. He joined the faculty of medicine as an assistant professor in 1963 and in three short years he became the head of the medical department. By 1971, Dr. Naimark was serving as the faculty’s dean.

In his role as dean, Dr. Naimark revolutionized the medical programs offered at the University of Manitoba. Some of his many accomplishments included the rejuvenation of the department of physiology and the department of social and preventive medicine (later the department of community health sciences). He championed the establishment of the department of family medicine and the growth of the department of medical microbiology and facilitated the creation of the Northern Medical Unit that provides healthcare to First Nations, Metis and Inuit people, which has become a model of excellence for health care delivery in northern and remote communities. Dr. Naimark played a seminal role in the establishment of the Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology, the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre and the launch of the Manitoba Health Research Council. Through his innovative leadership as chair or president of several major national and international organizations concerned with medical education and research, Dr. Naimark introduced reforms that enhanced their effectiveness, influence and scope.

In 1981, Dr. Naimark was appointed ninth president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manitoba. As president, he set his sights on wider university issues but also continued working on the advancement of medicine and the health sciences generally. Latterly, he was the founding chair of the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation and of the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Council and currently serves as chair of Genome Prairie and of CancerCare Manitoba. As one of the country’s foremost educational administrators and champions of health research, he has been sought after for advice by prominent medical and educational institutions around the world and by federal and provincial agencies in Canada.

In recognition of his leadership and outstanding achievements, Dr. Naimark has been honoured with a series of awards. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1987 and an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1991. He was also awarded the Order of Manitoba in 2003 and was inducted into the Winnipeg’s Citizen’s Hall of Fame.