Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

“He could very simply articulate a vision. ”

© Irma Coucill and the CMHF
2006 Inductee

Dr. John S. McEachern

Born: 
April 16, 1872, Stayner, Ontario
Died: 
December 12, 1947
Education: 
MD - The University of Toronto
A surgeon by training, Dr. John S. McEachern became a tireless advocate for the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and is credited with presenting the plan that rescued the CMA from near bankruptcy in 1921. In addition to this, he also participated in the drafting of the first principles for the CMA's Plan for Health Insurance in Canada (1932-1934). His leadership and vision persuaded the members of provincial medical associations to federate with the CMA, a process that was completed in 1938. Only then did it become the national voice of physicians in Canada.

Starting in 1931, the “McEachern Study Committee” reported to the CMA on the lack of national attention being given to cancer diagnosis and treatment in Canada. These problems included a shortage of radium for cancer treatment and the disorganized approach to the early detection and treatment of cancer. Almost single-handedly, he unified the provincial cancer committees into the Canadian Cancer Society in 1938.

McEachern was elected the President of the CMA in 1934/35 and received the CMA's second STARR medal in 1938. In addition, McEachern was named the Founding President (1938-1944) of the Canadian Society for the Control of Cancer, the forerunner of the Canadian Cancer Society. In 1946, he became the first honorary life member of the Canadian Cancer Society.