Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

Jean Gray

Dr. Jean Gray, Professor Emeritus of Medical Education, Medicine and Pharmacology at Dalhousie University, has held leadership positions and served with distinction in several medical organizations helping to foster excellence in health care in Canada and the world. She has been president of the Canadian Society of Clinical Pharmacology, the Canadian Society of Clinical Investigation, and the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. She has also served as president of the Canadian Institute of Academic Medicine and the Canadian Association of Medical Education and chair of the Institute of the Gender and Health Advisory Board of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.  She 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.  She began her career at a time when maternity leave provisions were virtually unknown because so few women were in medicine. If attitudes have since changed, if woman represent now almost half of all primary care physicians in Canada, much of the credit belongs to pioneers like Dr. Gray who persevered under difficult conditions and worked to change them.  In the early 1990s, Dr. Gray began working with the Canadian Pharmacists Association to develop a comprehensive handbook for practising primary care physicians designed to support therapeutic decision-making.  The book, Therapeutic Choices, went through five additions before transitioning to an electronic prescribing guide tailored to the needs of pharmacists and providers in primary care.  Dr. Gray has also served as a valued scientific advisor to the Government of Nova Scotia and Health Canada.  In the many dimensions of her career, she has provided important health-related guidance to individual practicing physicians and informed guidance in the development of public health policy.  

Dr. Gray has been a leader and champion of enlightened medical policy, an accomplished scientist, educator, and administrator.  She 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. Dr. Gray served for more than a decade on the board of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), helping to establish the CMAJ as the leading medical journal of the country.  Her long association with Dalhousie University as founding head of the Division of General Medicine, associate dean of Postgraduate Medical Education, and associate dean of Continuing Medical Education, is a contributing factor to the prestige of the university and its medical faculty.  She has received many distinguished awards and honours over a long and courageous career and has helped to promote equity and excellence in health care for all Canadians.