Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry celebrates Dr. Ian McWhinney, the founding father of family medicine

From kitchen tables to hospital boardrooms and government offices, the future of family medicine is one of the most talked about discussions taking place in Canada.

On September 23, 2015, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry is welcoming medical professionals, students, community members and internationally renowned experts to celebrate the life of Dr. Ian McWhinney – the founding father of family medicine in Canada – with the inaugural Dr. Ian McWhinney Lecture Series.

The study of family medicine was developed by Dr. McWhinney who believed that the foundation between doctor and patient was the basis for better health for the individual. The knowledge, relationship and trust shared between patient and doctor was as fundamental to patient health as a blood test, examination or prescription.

The McWhinney Lecture Series is an opportunity for citizens and medical professionals alike to gain insight into the impact of Dr. McWhinney’s contribution to the practice of family medicine, not just in local communities, but internationally.

“The Dr. Ian McWhinney Lecture Series is a way of honouring Dr. McWhinney’s memory and recognizing the birthplace of family medicine here in London,” said Dr. Stephen Wetmore, chair, Family Medicine. “Family medicine is focused on patient-centred care, designed to lead to healthier communities. Family physicians are part of their cities and towns, with a responsibility and commitment to see not just the illness, but the patient and environment around them.”

“Dr. McWhinney believed that a patient’s experience of illness is as important as the doctor’s education and knowledge,” said Dr. Thomas Freeman, professor, Family Medicine. “The patient-doctor interaction is one that both people should come to as experts – patients as the experts in their own illness and doctors as experts in treating illness.”

Guest speakers include, Dr. Michael Kidd, president, World Organization of Family Physicians (WONCA), and the inaugural McWhinney Lecturer, and Dr. Ryuki Kassai, professor and chair, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Fukishima Medical University.

Dr. Kassai studied the principles of family medicine with Dr. McWhinney and founded the first medical department of family medicine in Japan. He authored a blog about his experiences in caring for his local community after the Fukishima disaster in 2011.