d o c t o r s i n t h e n e w s
Founder of Memorial’s medical school earns place of honor
Dr. Ian Rusted
The late Dr. Ian Rusted will
join the ranks of Canada’s distinguished medical heroes when he is inducted
into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame on May 2, 2013.
By Ms. Sharon Gray
The late Dr. Ian Rusted will join the
ranks of Canada’s distinguished medical heroes when he is inducted
into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame on May 2, 2013. He is the
first native Newfoundlander to receive this distinction
Sir Wilfred Grenfell was inducted in 1997.
Every year, the Canadian Medical Hall of
Fame elevates a select few Canada’s most brilliant minds to laureate
status. Laureates are those who have pushed the boundaries of discovery
and innovation beyond the realm of possibility to make the world a
Dr. Rusted is being recognized for
establishing Newfoundland and Labrador’s only medical school, which to
this day is a world leader in medical education. What makes this
singular accomplishment so remarkable is the vision and perseverance it
took to establish a medical school in a poor, under-served province at a
time when all of Canada’s medical schools were located in large,
Since its inception 45 years ago,
Memorial’s Faculty of Medicine continues to address one of the world’s
greatest health challenges: How to effectively train and inspire doctors
to serve patients in rural and remote communities? Today, the legacy and
spirit of Dr. Rusted lives on in more than 2,000 medical graduates who
are scattered across Newfoundland and Labrador and throughout the world
caring for the needs of humanity wherever they may be.
“When I became dean of medicine at
Memorial in 2004 and met with Dr. Rusted, it became clear to me that the
medical school had been established on a foundation of social
accountability,” said Dr. James Rourke. “From the beginning, Memorial’s
medical school focused on engaging and responding to the health needs of
the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and its innovative curriculum
provided learning experiences in communities throughout the province.”
Dr. William Fitzgerald, immediate past
president of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and
a clinical professor of surgery at Memorial, said Dr. Rusted is a
sterling example of a physician, academic, scientist, humanitarian,
effective administrator and team builder whose fierce commitment to his
province and the country endures in the Memorial’s modern and growing
Faculty of Medicine.
“Dr. Rusted’s life was dedicated to
improving the health of Newfoundlanders,” said Dr. Fitzgerald. “His
contribution to medical education in Canada is outstanding
he built a medical school that continues to serve the needs of
Newfoundland and Labrador within a national and global context.”
Dr. Tom Noseworthy, a professor of health
policy and management with Community Health Sciences at the University
of Calgary, was in the first class of Memorial’s medical graduates. “I
remember Dr. Rusted as a humble and soft-spoken man who was also an
iconic figure who commanded a respect and following from many because of
his inimitable and wonderful personal characteristics. He made each
medical student feel special, through an innate ability to connect with
individuals at a personal level and to allow them to feel understood and
Ian Rusted was born in Upper Island Cove,
Newfoundland, on July 12, 1921 and died in St. John’s on July 14, 2007.
Following high school in Carbonear and St. John’s, he attended Memorial
University College for a pre-medical diploma from 1938-40, followed by a
BA from Trinity College, University of Toronto, in 1943. He then
completed a medical degree and rotating internship at Dalhousie
University in 1948, followed by a M.Sc. from McGill University in 1949.
Following postgraduate experience at the Mayo Foundation, he chose to
return to what had now become the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Serving as medical consultant to the
Department of Health and director of medical education at the General
Hospital, Dr. Rusted’s top priority was visiting cottage hospitals and
other provincial institutions, working closely with rural doctors.
During this period he collected information regarding the possibility of
a new medical school in Atlantic Canada. He never wavered in his
determination to see a medical school established at Memorial
University, despite sometimes fierce opposition.
With remarkable foresight, strategic
timing and courage, he led a carefully planned campaign to establish the
much-needed medical school. When final approval was committed from
federal and provincial sources, provision was included for both a
medical school and a teaching hospital
a Health Sciences Centre. A unique funding model has seen the medical
school at Memorial funded directly from the provincial Department of
Health, setting it aside from other areas of the university which are
funded by the Department of Education.
With Dr. Rusted’s appointment as the first
dean of medicine in 1967, he sought to achieve excellence through
radical changes in medical school curriculum and organization, and
through appointment of faculty drawn from Newfoundland, Canada and
abroad. Based on his ideals, Memorial’s Faculty of Medicine is
non-departmental and the matrix structure he established has led to
close co-operation between the clinical disciplines, biomedical
sciences, and community health and humanities.
Dr. Rusted was the recipient of numerous
awards and honors, including three honorary degrees (Dalhousie
University, 1978; Mount Allison University, 1983; and Memorial
University, 2001). He was named the 1979 St. John’s Citizen of the Year
and in 1989 received Honorary Life Membership from the Newfoundland and
Labrador Medical Association. In 1992 he was awarded title of Master of
the American College of Physicians.
In addition to Dr. Rusted, the 2013
inductees are Dr. Antoine Hakim, Dr. David MacLennan, and Dr. Bette
Stephenson, all of Ontario; Dr. Arnold Naimark, Manitoba; and, Dr.
Claude Roy, Quebec. They will join the ranks of the 95 laureates who
have been similarly recognized since 1994.
“These remarkable individuals have earned
their place of honour among Canada’s most distinguished medical heroes.
Their legacy will live on through the Hall of Fame where people
everywhere can learn about their great service to humankind and be
inspired to follow in their footsteps,” said Dr. Stewart Hamilton, Board
Chair of the Hall of Fame, during the announcement of inductees in
October. “This year’s inductees have overcome incredible challenges to
improve the lives of countless others and as fellow Canadians we can be
The NLMA will send two delegates to the
2013 Induction Ceremony in Halifax on May 2.