Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

“It's not what you get but what you give that makes you rich.”

© Irma Coucill and the CMHF
1995 Inductee

Dr. William T. Mustard

Born: 
August 8, 1914, Clinton, Ontario
Died: 
December 11, 1987
Education: 
MD - The University of Toronto
An innovative surgeon, Dr. William Mustard was the first to use prosthetic glass tubes in wounded arteries and in the repair of congenital defects early in infancy. In addition to this, he devised an operation known as the "Mustard Operation", which is used worldwide today to correct a complex inborn error in "blue babies" in which the arteries and veins to and from the heart are switched so that they connect with the wrong heart chambers.

William Thornton Mustard graduated in medicine from the University of Toronto in 1937. After a distinguished career in the Canadian Army Medical Corps where he was awarded the Member of the British Empire (MBE), he received further training in surgery in New York before returning to Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children in 1947.

In Toronto, he quickly championed the discipline of pediatric cardiovascular surgery pioneering the use of the heart lung machine in infants and greatly expanding the scope of surgery possible for the treatment of hereditary heart defects.

Dr. Mustard's legacy as an innovator in pediatric cardiovascular surgery lives on as a result of the world renowned training centre that he established at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.