winter 2012

c o r p o r a t e
NLMA dedicates boardroom in honor of Dr. Nigel Rusted


Jonathan Carpenter Photo

 

L to R - Dr. Nigel Rusted's daughter Joan, son Tom, granddaughter Angela and daughter Elaine attended the ceremony to honour Dr. Rusted's lasting impact on the medical profession in Newfoundland and Labrador.

On October 3, NLMA President Dr. Tony Gabriel unveiled a portrait of the late Dr. Nigel Rusted during a ceremony to dedicate the NLMA boardroom in his honor.

By NLMA Staff

On October 3, NLMA President Dr. Tony Gabriel unveiled a portrait of the late Dr. Nigel Rusted during a ceremony to dedicate the NLMA boardroom in his honor.

The ceremony commemorated Dr. Rusted’s outstanding accomplishments and service to the medical profession. The event was attended by members of the Retired Physicians Group, which was founded by Dr. Rusted, as well as his friends, colleagues and family members.

A plaque was also unveiled next to his portrait that overlooks the boardroom table, which reads:

Dr. Nigel Francis Scarth Rusted is an icon of the medical profession in Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada. Dr. Rusted was a family physician and the last of a pioneer generation of surgeons who laid the foundations of surgical specialty care in the province. He travelled by ship to hundreds of remote and isolated coastal communities, bringing medical care to areas that totaled more than 14,000 patients. He was also the first to perform several operations in the province in an era preceding antibiotics. Before retiring at age 80, he performed more than 9,000 surgeries, including hare lip and cleft palate reconstruction surgery for over 650 children. Prior to Medicare, he performed more than 1,500 operations free for those too poor to afford it. He is highly regarded as a man of generosity and compassion and as a physician who always put his patients first. He is forever revered for his extraordinary and lasting impact on the medical profession.

The plaque also includes Dr. Rusted’s famous quote: “My attitude always was patients first and the hell with anybody else. If you’re going to treat them, treat them as you want to be treated yourself.”

In 1973, Dr. Rusted received an honorary Degree of Science from Memorial University. A year later, he was awarded a senior membership in the Canadian Medical Association and he was recognized by the Health Care Corporation of St. John’s as a Senior Honorary Staff Member. He was also awarded the first William B. Spaulding Certificate of Merit in 1996 for his contributions to the history of medicine.

In 2004, Memorial University established the annual Dr. Nigel Rusted Lectureship in Medical Humanities in his honor. Three years later, he was inducted into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador and, in 2008, he was presented with the Freedom of the City of St. John’s Award, also known as the key to the city. In 2010, he received the NLMA Honorary Life Membership Award and on January 19, 2012, Dr. Rusted received the insignia of Member of the Order of Canada. He died peacefully on March 18, 2012 at the age of 104.

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Nexus is published quarterly for Newfoundland and Labrador's physicians. It is a forum for the exchange of views, ideas and information for members.