Dr. J.D. MacLean

John Dick Fleming MacLean

MD, FRCP(C), MRCP (UK), DCMT (London), 1940–2009

Dr. J. Dick MacLean completed medical training at Queens University in 1966. He subsequently specialized in Internal Medicine and Tropical Medicine (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine). He then taught at the Gombak Aborigine Hospital in Malaysia, the University of Nairobi in Kenya, and the University of Hawaii Program in Japan before returning to McGill University in 1980. He was quickly named director of the McGill University Centre for Tropical Diseases (TDC) which he nurtured and defended for almost three decades. Under his stewardship, the TDC grew into a renowned national referral center committed to patient care, both clinical and basic research, and especially training and education. Countless students, colleagues, and organizations have benefited from his knowledge of clinical tropical medicine over the years. Dr. MacLean gave generously of his time and expertise, including to the Public Health Agency of Canada through service on expert committees (e.g., Canadian Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine and Travel), Canadian and American International Health Societies (e.g., Canadian Society for International Health, Canadian University Consortium for Health in Development, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene) and many others. He published 92 papers in the peer-reviewed literature and contributed many chapters to texts focused on tropical medicine. Perhaps paradoxically for a “tropical diseases doctor,” in Canada his name will always be linked to research on new parasitic diseases in northern communities (e.g., endemic trichinosis, Metorchis conjunctus). Dr. MacLean died on 22 January 2009 following complications from surgery. In recognition of his exemplary career, McGill University has re-named the TDC the J. D. MacLean Centre for Tropical Diseases. His greatest legacy, however, is reflected in the generations of students, trainees, and colleagues who benefited from his teaching and counsel and who were inspired by him to become better citizens of the world.