Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

Induction Ceremony

Please note that the 2020 Induction Ceremony has been rescheduled to

Of course everyone is aware of the growing concern around COVID-19 and the impact it is having on events across the country.  We have been monitoring the situation and its impact on travel and meetings and while the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the associated public health risk as low for Canada, BC health officials have announced new measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, including a ban on gatherings of over 250 people.

POSTPONED BUT NOT CANCELLED is our motto at the moment! We are still a go and will celebrate the outstanding achievements of our newest Inductees in the fall in Vancouver.

In the meantime, we hope you remain healthy and we encourage everyone to stay informed from credible sources as the details about the outbreak evolve.

We thank you for supporting this evening of inspiration and we look forward to seeing you in September.


Hyatt Regency
655 Burrard Street, Vancouver BC  V6C 2R7

Reception: 6:00 PM  |  Evening program begins: 7:00 PM
Formal attire (black tie optional)


Greetings from Committee Chair Dermot Kelleher, MD

 Sponsorship Opportunities   Tickets, Guest Lists, Accommodations and More


Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Laureates are Canadian citizens whose outstanding leadership and contributions to medicine and the health sciences, in Canada or abroad, have led to extraordinary improvements in human health. Their work may be a single meritorious contribution or a lifetime of superior accomplishments. Pioneers in their field, they are role models who inspire young Canadians to pursue careers in the health sciences. Six Canadian medical heroes are inducted annually to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

Introducing our 2020 Inductees... 

Harvey Max Chochinov PhD, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manitoba and Senior Scientist at the Research Institute of Oncology and Haematology, CancerCare Manitoba, is one of the world’s most innovative and influential proponents of improved and expanded palliative care across multiple dimensions of life-limiting or life-ending condition.  Dr. Chochinov’s pioneering work has significantly advanced effective recognition and treatment of end-of-life distress, depression, desire for death, and vulnerability.  His empirical research provides guidelines for dignity conserving palliative care and psychosocial intervention and is helping to assure that our medical management of dying and death does not disregard alleviable pain nor violate the dignity of patients and their families. Dr. Chochinov is Co-Founder and former chair (2001-2015) of the Canadian Virtual Hospice (CVH), the world’s most comprehensive online platform providing information and support to patients, families and health providers on issues related to palliative care and bereavement.  His award-winning book Dignity Therapy: Final Words for Final Days is a profound and beautiful meditation on human mortality and a blueprint for the palliative intervention developed by Dr. Chochinov and his research colleagues.


Jean Gray MD, Professor Emeritus of Medical Education, Medicine and Pharmacology at Dalhousie University, has championed rigorous studies of drug safety and effectiveness to improve prescribing practice, and her reputation as a skillful and courageous leader has extended her influence widely and durably. Praised and admired for her wide-ranging knowledge of pharmacotherapeutics, her devotion to evidence-informed practice, and her tireless service on numerous committees and editorial boards, Dr. Gray has also served as a powerful advocate of women’s mentoring in medicine having begun her career at a time when so few women were in medicine, persevering under difficult conditions and working to change them.  In the early 1990s, Dr. Gray began working with the Canadian Pharmacists Association to develop Therapeutic Choices, a comprehensive handbook for practising primary care physicians designed to support therapeutic decision-making.  In the many dimensions of her career, she has provided informed guidance in the development of public health policy. Dr. Gray has served as a role model and mentor for an entire generation of students who have gone on to study and practice medicine throughout Canada and has helped to promote equity and excellence in health care for all Canadians.


In the spring of 1642 medical missionary Jeanne Mance founded the first hospital in Montral, the Hôtel-Dieu, which went on to serve the people of Canada for 375 years, finally closing its doors in 2017.  This courageous woman established, expanded and preserved one of the first and most durable medical institutions while enduring and overcoming incredible hardship. With the secret help of a powerful and wealthy patroness, Mance made the arduous Atlantic crossing to Montreal, at that time a remote frontier outpost. She returned to France three more times, where she recruited the first three nuns of the Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph. In the nascent and precarious colony, Mance was responsible for managing housing, property, finances, food, tools, and goods, and she also acted as bursar.  Sometimes referred to as North America’s first secular nurse, she created an enduring legacy of caring for the sick and the wounded, treating all peoples of Nouvelle-France without exclusions. Jeanne Mance managed to navigate the complexities of political and religious power in a time of often dangerous, always uncertain, intrigue and ambition.  Mance died in 1673 and is buried in the crypt beneath the chapel of the hospital in the heart of the city she had served and founded.


The massive and unprecedented scale of genomic data provided by the Human Genome Project between 1990 and 2003 revolutionized our understanding of disease biology. Among the project’s participants was distinguished Canadian scientist Marco Marra PhD, now Head of the Department of Medical Genetics at The University of British Columbia and Director of Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Science Centre (GSC) at BC Cancer.  Under Dr. Marra’s leadership, the Personalized Oncogenomics (POG) project at BC Cancer, represents one of the first applications of whole genome sequencing in a clinical setting, using information derived from thousands of individual cancer genomes and transcriptomes to identify promising therapeutic targets in individual patients. Dr. Marra is one of the world’s most cited scientists in his field with more than 400 scientific publications.  The hand-picked successor of his great mentor Nobel and CMHF Laureate Dr. Michael Smith, Dr. Marra has since mentored many graduate students who are now providing the expertise and insight needed to fulfill the promise of the genomic revolution. Recipient of numerous awards, mentor, lecturer, and administrator, Dr. Marra will continue to extend the reach of the genome sciences in studying, managing, and eradicating disease.


Joseph B. Martin MD PhD has had an extraordinary career as a scientist, physician, and administrator, helping to establish the discipline of neuroendocrinology and serving for ten years as Dean of Harvard Medical School.  He has been distinguished for his ability to promote collaboration in building and expanding the institutional foundations of medical education and science in both Canada and the United States.  His legacy includes ground breaking early work in the genetics of Huntington’s disease (HD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), development of an NIH-sponsored HD Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, an expanded campus at UCSF devoted to biomedical, bioengineering, and global health research, the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, and the Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center.  Dr. Martin was a key figure in the development of the Ontario Brain Institute where he served as co-chair of the organizing committee. He has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, and co-edited Harrison’s Principles of Medicine, one of the standard medical textbooks in North America.  Known for his honesty and the ability to inspire trust, continued advancement of medical science depends increasingly on the skills exemplified by Dr. Martin.


 An ongoing movement away from directive paternalism to collaborative partnerships in medical care has been powerfully assisted by the extensive research, organizational skill, and inspired leadership of Annette O’Connor MScN PhD, Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of Ottawa School of Nursing. Her pioneering work in actively engaging patients in their own treatment and supporting them in shared decision-making with physicians and caregivers has helped make respect for patient agency an accepted part of enlightened and humane medical practice.  Her research provides guidelines for achieving effective and informed decision-making, joining technical and procedural know-how with patients’ individual values and self-determination.  Dr. O’Connor led the first reviews of patient decision aid trials and co-led a 14-country international consortium to establish standards for their development and evaluation (IPDAS). These resources, now publicly available online, have helped inform and improve health care practices worldwide. Dr. O’Connor has trained numerous individuals, forming a new generation of researchers in the field of shared decision making. Her research was recognized internationally by the Society for Medical Decision Making with awards for career achievement and exemplary leadership.


Nominate your medical hero for consideration today!