MUN medical school founder to be inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

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Dr. Ian Rusted. — Canadian Medical Hall of Fame photo http://www.cdnmedhall.org

Memorial University’s medical school founder, the late Dr. Ian Rusted, will be inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame tonight in Halifax.

The annual ceremony honours laureates whose medical accomplishments have contributed significantly to the advancement of health care and health research in Canada and around the world.

In a news release today, MUN's Faculty of Medicine said Rusted’s contribution to health care in this province is immeasurable. "At a time when medical schools were almost all located within larger, resource-rich cities, Dr. Rusted was inspired by the need for physicians with the interest and skills needed to serve rural patients. As well, he overcame fierce opposition to help establish Memorial University’s medical school in 1967."

Dr. James Rourke, dean of MUN's Faculty of Medicine, said without Rusted's vision and untiring work, there would be no medical school in Newfoundland and Labrador, "a medical school that has proved to be a leader in medical education to this day"

Rourke said "the strong ethos inspired by Dr. Rusted is a legacy that exists in Memorial’s over 2,000 medical graduates who endeavour to serve the needs of humanity wherever they are most needed.”

The impact of Rusted’s legacy in the medical school extends far beyond the school itself.

MUN says, currently, medical graduates from Memorial make up half the province’s doctors. The development of the medical school’s faculty has contributed to improvements in health care, while research has also flourished in the province as a result of the Medical School, including accomplishments in the areas of genetics, inter-professional education and rural distributed medical education.

Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine has been recognized many times as a world leader in training doctors to serve in rural communities.. The Society of Rural Physicians of Canada honoured the school with the Keith Award in April 2013 for the largest number of graduates practicing in rural areas 10 years after graduation. This is the fourth time Memorial University has received the society’s prestigious award since it was introduced in 2000.

Memorial also received the society’s Rural Education Award in 2009 in recognition for excellence in producing MD graduates headed to a career in rural medicine.

"The impact of Dr. Rusted’s legacy of building a medical school to meet the needs of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians lives on," MUN said in its news release. "The great success of his vision is demonstrated every day by the work of Memorial’s medical graduates in communities across Canada and around the world, especially those in rural and remote underserved communities."

Organizations: Canadian Medical Hall, MUN medical school, Society of Rural Physicians of Canada

Geographic location: Canada, Halifax, Newfoundland and Labrador

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