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The Demise of One of IMU’s Founding Members

29 Jan 2013

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of a very dear friend of IMU –  Dr Ian Ritchie Hart, Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. Dr Hart passed away peacefully at Grace Manor on Friday, August 24, 2012 at the age of 75 years. Dr. Hart was instrumental in the setting up of IMU and played a key role in establishing the vision and direction for the institution. Dr Hart lived in Malaysia for a while and it was during this time he focused his efforts and considerable knowledge in Medicine to help establish our university. As beneficiaries of his past efforts in association with IMU we are deeply indebted to Dr. Hart. On behalf of IMU we are sure that all IMU students and staff join us in expressing our condolences to his close family and friends. Enclosed is a write-up by Dr Mei Ling Young – IMU Provost – detailing Dr Hart’s vast contribution to education and also his achievements in various fields. “It is with great sadness that we read about the passing of a very dear friend, Dr. Ian Hart, recently.  Ian was more than a friend to IMU; he was one of the key members of the core team that led to the founding of IMU.  Ian was chosen for this position because he had played a prominent role in medical education.  He and Ron Harden helped to develop Phase 1 of the IMU curriculum, with all its innovation and progressiveness and were instrumental in bringing in IMU’s North American Partner Medical Schools, six Canadian Universities and Jefferson College in Pennsylvania, USA. Ian graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1960 and emigrated to Canada in 1961.  Although trained as an endocrinologist with special interest in thyroid disorders, Ian’s keen interest in medical education started in the early 1980s.  This led to his appointment as Professor in Medical Education at the University of Ottawa in 1986.  In medical education, Ian played a major role in the spread of Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE) both in North America and at the international stage. Ian founded the Ottawa Conference on Assessment of Clinical Competence in 1985 in collaboration with Professor Ron Harden of Dundee. The Ottawa Conferences have now become one of the largest international conferences on medical education.  For his contributions to medical education, Ian has been bestowed numerous prestigious awards, both from North America and internationally.  These are the John P Hubbard Award of the National Board of Medical Examiners of the United States, the Merrel Flair Award of  the  Group  on  Educational Affairs  of  the American  Association  of  Medical  Colleges, the OCUFA Award of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations for “Outstanding Contribution to University Teaching”.    For his contributions to the IMU, Ian was conferred the Distinguished Fellowship in year 2000. Ian’s contribution to IMU extended through innumerable Academic Council meetings, the development of the clinical school as well as other IMU matters.  Many of the early members of the Academic Council, and certainly among IMU pioneer staff, Ian will always be remembered as a cheerful big man with an equally big heart, a man with a good sense of humour and great humility.  We share our sorrow with his family.”

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