Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

“He was a gentle man with fierce determination to see things through.”

© Irma Coucill and CMHF
2013 Inductee

Dr. Ian Rusted

Born: 
July 12, 1921, Upper Island Cove, Newfoundland
Died: 
July 14, 2007
Education: 
MD - Dalhousie University
Courage, dedication and perseverance. These are the qualities it took for Dr. Ian Rusted to fulfil his dream of establishing a medical school at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Prior to this, there was no medical school in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and many questioned the feasibility of one in a poorer, underserved province. Undeterred by the naysayers, Dr. Rusted continued to pursue his vision and eventually founded Memorial’s Faculty of Medicine, today a global leader in medical education.

Dr. Rusted graduated from Memorial University College with a pre-medical diploma in 1940. From there he ventured to Trinity College, University of Toronto to complete his BA and following this, to Dalhousie University to earn his medical degree in 1948. Dr. Rusted continued his education at McGill University and at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Although both institutions offered him positions, he chose to return to his home province.

Once back in Newfoundland, Dr. Rusted specialized in internal medicine and worked as a medical consultant for the provincial department of health. During this time he visited many cottage hospitals and worked with rural doctors. It was during this period that he began to see the need for a medical school in Newfoundland. After convincing the provincial and federal governments of his idea, he was appointed in 1966 director of post-graduate medical education and coordinator of planning for the proposed new medical school. In 1967, his vision materialized and he was appointed first dean and professor of medicine of the medical school at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He served as dean until 1979 and was then appointed vice-president (health sciences), a position he held until his retirement in 1988.

Today Memorial’s Faculty of Medicine has over 2,000 medical graduates who have carried with them the legacy of Dr. Rusted. Through his belief in strong clinical skills and dedication to community-based learning, Dr. Rusted laid the foundation for superb medical education, training doctors working in both rural and urban areas around the world.

Dr. Rusted has been recognized with a series of awards and distinctions including three honorary degrees, the St. John’s Citizen of the Year Award in 1979, Officer of the Order of Canada in 1985, an Honorary Life Membership Award from the Newfoundland Medical Association in 1989, and Master of the American College of Physicians in 1992.