Dr. Robert McMurtry receives award

Friday, January 9, 2009

We are extremely pleased to announce Dr. Robert McMurtry will be awarded the James H. Graham Award from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada recognizing his significant career achievements.

Dr. McMurtry has had a very distinguished career as an orthopaedic surgeon and health policy advisor. Currently he is a Professor Emeritus and active contributor to the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Hand and Upper Limb Centre, specializing in upper extremity, wrist and hand surgery, determinants of health, DRUJ kinematics, and scaphoid healing.

In October of 2003, he was appointed to the Transition Advisory Board of the incoming Provincial Government of Ontario. In December 2003, he was appointed to the Health Council of Canada. He chaired the Wait Times and Accessibility Work Group from January 2004 to January 2006 and he maintains an active membership in the Canadian Index of Wellbeing Project Management Team, as well as the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute.

Dr. McMurtry is the founding Assistant Deputy Minister of the Population and Public Health Branch of Health Canada. He was appointed to the Romanow Commission in 2002 as a Special Advisor to Commissioner Romanow. He was also Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Nunavut from December 2002 to August 2003 for the purpose of reviewing the Health Care System of the territory. In June of 2003, he received the Presidential Award of Excellence from the Canadian Orthopedic Association.

In 1987, he was appointed Professor and Chair of Surgery at the University of Calgary and Chief of Surgery at Foothills Hospital. In 1992, he became Dean of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario and subsequently Dean of Medicine and Dentistry, a post he held until 1999. In 1999, he became the first Cameron Visiting Chair at Health Canada - a post carrying the responsibility for providing policy advice to the Deputy Minister and Minister of Health for Canada.

During his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery, he spent 2 years in Africa, first in a mission hospital in South Africa and then with the Canadian International Development Agency in Uganda. Following his residency, Dr. McMurtry did a fellowship in Hand Surgery at the University of Iowa. He started his practice at the former Sunnybrook Hospital (now Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre) in 1975. It was there that Dr. McMurtry founded and directed Canada's First Trauma Unit and the multi-disciplinary Hand Unit.

The Council of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada created the award in 1987 to honour a person whose outstanding achievements reflect the aims and objectives of the Royal College.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. McMurtry on this impressive and well-deserved award.


John Denstedt, MD, FRCSC, FACS
Richard Ivey Professor & Chair/Chief
Department of Surgery
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Dr. Jim Roth, MD, FRSCS, FACS
Chair/Chief, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry