In Memoriam: Dr. Eric McCracken

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Eric McCracken.

Dr. McCracken passed away peacefully on September 27, 2022 at the age of 97.

He began teaching in the Department of Family Medicine at Western University at the Southwest Middlesex Health Centre.

His teaching career touched and shaped the lives of many physicians. He was from that formative era of whole person medicine, a colleague of Dr. Ian McWhinney.

In describing his teaching style, one of his residents said, "as with all things in his life, Eric taught and led by example. Although he challenged students to think for themselves and solve their own problems, in the end he could be trusted to guide with an honest, intelligent and straight answer. You knew he would always be there with wit and wisdom - and he always was."

Dr. McCracken was the Vice President Medical at Parkwood Hospital when it moved to it's present location in 1985. 

From Dr. Wayne Weston:

"I remember Eric with great fondness. He was a wonderful colleague at the Southwest Middlesex Health Centre. I especially remember his kindness and non-judgemental attitude toward difficulties involving others. He was a very skilled clinician and teacher and was one of the first members of the Department to recognize the importance of the patient-centred approach that Dr. Joe Levenstein brought to the department."

Dr. McCracken co-authored the first article on the patient-centred clinical method in 1986 with Drs. Levenstein and McWhinney and served in the role of Father Smith for short videotaped examples of a doctor-centred and patient-centred interview used to teach about the patient-centred clinical method.

From Dr. Judy Belle Brown:

"I was thinking about Eric during the McWhinney Lecture as he was an avid attendee. I remember him with great fondness and how incredibly supportive he was of me in the early stages of my career. As noted in his obituary he embodied both wit and wisdom in all his interactions whether it was with patients, learners or colleagues. Eric was kind, gentle and deeply caring. At the same time he was firm in his belief of the primacy of the patient and a powerful advocate of patient-centered care."

Dr. McCracken was a gracious and kind colleague and physician who excelled in clinical care, education and administration. The Department was fortunate to count him among our faculty.

A full obituary can be found here: