Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

“He nurtured others to carry on his tradition. ”

© Irma Coucill and the CMHF
2006 Inductee

Dr. Ian McWhinney

Born: 
October 11, 1926, Burnley, England
Died: 
September 28, 2012
Education: 
MB BChir. - Cambridge University
Dr. Ian McWhinney is acknowledged as one of the founders of modern Family Medicine in Canada. He is credited with defining the discipline as a distinct field of medicine, based on the knowledge gained by the physician’s long term relationship with patients and their families, familiarity with their life stories, and the trust that patients place in their physician over time. A world-renowned medical educator, Dr. McWhinney’s approach to health care is now the basic model used in the training of family physicians. Fundamental to this approach is the attainment of common ground between doctor and patient.

Dr. Ian McWhinney founded the Graduate Studies Program in Family Medicine at The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. Dr. McWhinney also established the Centre for Studies in Family Medicine, which is regarded as the premier research centre in Family Medicine in Canada.

Dr. McWhinney’s international reputation was advanced in 1989 with the publication of his textbook of Family Medicine. This seminal work has been described by scholars as the definitive description of the discipline of general practice.

Dr. McWhinney has received numerous awards and honours. In 1993 he was recognized as an outstanding educator by the Association of Canadian Medical Colleges, and in 1998 he was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada.