Chair's Message – 50th Anniversary

I have just returned from Family Medicine Forum 2018 in Toronto where we hosted a reception in honour of our 50th anniversary as an academic department. Thank you to the many faculty members, residents and graduates that attended.

Our Department actually began in approximately 1966 with two family medical centres, Victoria Family Medical Centre and St. Joseph’s Family Medical Centre, so we are indeed 52 years old. In 1968, Dr. Ian McWhinney was recruited as the first Professor of Family Medicine in Canada and the first Chair of our Department.

Southwest Middlesex Health Centre in Mount Brydges came on board as a teaching centre in 1978, along with Byron Family Medical Centre.  The Graduate Studies program in our Department was established by Dr. McWhinney in 1977, and the Centre for Studies in Family Medicine in 1986. In the 40 years of the Graduate Studies program, faculty and graduates have produced well over 1900 papers, which have been cited over 27, 000 times.

Over the years our Department has expanded with the addition of the Regional Clinic in Ilderton and core teaching sites in Windsor, Chatham, Petrolia, Goderich, Hanover, Stratford and Strathroy.

Some other notable achievements from our department have included:

Graduating over 1200 residents, including five Murray Stalker Award winners over the years.

Centre for Studies in Family Medicine named as one of the Top Twenty pioneers of family medicine research in Canada.

Our faculty members have included three NAPCRG presidents, four Maurice Wood Award winners, two Section of Teachers Presidents, three Ian McWhinney Education Award recipients, and six OCFP presidents, over the years.

We have a proud tradition developed over 50 years, and I see our current residents and recent graduates as fully up to the task of maintaining that tradition and continuing significant contributions in education and research to the discipline of Family Medicine in Canada over the next 50 years.

As always, I welcome your feedback at or via Twitter @DOCSJW.