Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

“He was a man of purpose and had an extraordinary work ethic.”

© Irma Coucill and the CMHF
1998 Inductee

Dr. C. Miller Fisher

Born: 
December 5, 1913, Waterloo, Ontario
Died: 
April 14, 2012
Education: 
MD - The University of Toronto
With a strong belief in clinical observation and an interest in cerebrovascular pathology, Dr. C. Miller Fisher brought attention to new areas of stroke. First, he observed that the narrowing of the carotid artery caused stroke. Second, he described little clots that were a warning for stroke. These warning attacks were called transient ischemic attacks, which led to the discovery that aspirin and other drugs can prevent stroke by preventing the formation of these clots. His work brought attention to specific causes of stroke and it would lay the groundwork for active research in the prevention of stroke.

Charles Miller Fisher attended the University of Toronto Medical School and graduated in 1938. During the Second World War, Dr. Fisher was in a German prison camp for three and a half years. He became the doctor for the other prisoners and took the opportunity to learn German. This would later allow him, upon his return home to Canada, to access important original German literature regarding cerebrovascular disease.

Fisher successfully identified common rhythm disorders of the heart as another factor that could cause stroke. Fisher's method and style of organizing clinical observations, summarize his approach to medicine and are known simply as "Fisher's Rules". Many awards and much acclaim have accompanied Fisher's career. He was the recipient of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada's Prize in Medicine and the Soriano International Award.