Navigation Links
Trailblazing pain pioneer Ronald Melzack to be inducted into Medical Hall of Fame

This release is available in French.

Dr. Ronald Melzack O.C., a McGill University psychologist who revolutionized the study and treatment of pain from the 1960s onward, has been inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. He and his four fellow 2009 inductees from across Canada join 71 existing Hall of Fame laureates who "brought distinction to Canada through their outstanding contributions to medical science and the improved health and well-being of people everywhere."

Melzack was born in 1929 and grew up in a working-class district of Montreal. The only member of his family to attend university, he studied psychology at McGill under the great Dr. Donald Hebb and obtained his PhD in 1954. He became interested in the puzzle of pain at the University of Oregon after an encounter with a woman whose leg had been amputated but who still experienced terrible "phantom pain" in the missing limb.

Several years later, at MIT, he began to collaborate with Dr. Patrick Wall, who was interested in the same phenomenon. Their historic partnership led to the 1965 publication of the revolutionary Gate Control Theory of Pain, which overturned the then-accepted view of pain as a primitive, unchanging "warning system" that the body is in danger. Instead, Melzack and Wall theorized that psychological factors and environment play a large role, and that pain is subjective and ultimately at the mercy of the brain.

Melzack returned to McGill and developed one of the most powerful pain research tools in use today: the McGill Pain Questionnaire, which allows patients to precisely pinpoint the type and degree of pain they are experiencing. The questionnaire has since been translated into 20 languages and is accepted as a standard worldwide. Melzack was also the co-founder of the first pain clinics in Canada at the Royal Victoria Hospital in 1972, and the Montreal General Hospital in 1974, both of which now belong to the McGill University Health Centre. It is his empathy for those suffering from chronic pain however that is perhaps his greatest gift of all.

"I am deeply grateful to have my name alongside my teacher Dr. Donald Hebb who was inducted in 2003," said Melzack, who is now Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at McGill University. "I sincerely hope that I, too, will serve as an inspiration for students everywhere through this prestigious and unexpected honour. Thank you to The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for making this happen, and particularly in my hometown of Montreal!"

The 2009 Inductees were selected by an independent committee of prominent leaders from Canada's medical community.

"Dr. Melzack's contributions to our understanding of pain and our ability to reduce human suffering are immeasurable," said Dr. Richard Levin, Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) and Dean of McGill's Faculty of Medicine. "We congratulate this great McGill scholar on his richly deserved induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame."

"The selection of this year's candidates was both a demanding and gratifying experience for all members of the selection committee," said Dr. Alain Beaudet, president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and chair of the Selection Committee. "Indeed, the Canadian scene abounds with outstanding scientists, care providers and visionary builders of medicine, all of whom deserve our recognition and appreciation. This year's inductees exude excellence, not only in their achievements, but also as exceptional human beings."

Melzack's fellow 2009 inductees include Dr. Sylvia O. Fedoruk, Dr. Tak Wah Mak, Dr. Charles H. Tator and Dr. Mladen Vranic. More than 500 of Canada's leading citizens will come together to celebrate the formal induction of the incoming laureates on April 29, 2009, in Montreal.


Contact: Mark Shainblum
McGill University

Related medicine news :

1. Pioneer Surgical Technology Hires Vice President of New Business Development
2. PSI Brings its Pioneering Efforts to a Close
3. Brandeis neuroscientist wins NIH directors Pioneer Award
4. Siemens Building Technologies Pioneers Wireless Solution for St. Anthonys Sensitive Environment
5. Governor Rendell Accepts National Health Care Reform Pioneer Award
6. Pioneer Surgical Technology Hires New Spinal Franchise Manager
7. American Heart Association Congratulates Pioneer Heart Surgeon for Being Named Recipient of Congressional Gold Medal Award
8. Loma Linda University to Dedicate Proton Treatment Center to Cancer Therapy Pioneer James M. Slater, M.D.
9. Antibody Engineering Company f-star Appoints Three Pioneers in Antibody Engineering and Development to its Newly Established Scientific Advisory Board
10. American Academy of Ophthalmology Mourns Loss of Judah Folkman, MD, Pioneering Researcher
11. Boston IVF is First in Northeast to Offer Pioneering Test of Womens Biological Clock
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... Lake Orion, Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June ... ... direction with respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These ... tolerable intercourse but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible ... often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human ... but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned ... the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at ... fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits ... terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps ... slow progress toward their goal. , Research from reveals that ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World ... with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center ... with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 The Academy of ... recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to ... entities that make formulary and coverage decisions, a move ... of new medicines. The recommendations address restrictions ... appear on the drug label, a prohibition that hinders ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... and SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, ... -based mobile pulmonary function testing company, is now able to perform ... developed by ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. ... in hospital-based labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL ... can get any needed testing done in the comfort of her ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- According to a new market research ... Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, ... Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global Forecasts to ... for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. This ... 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, growing at ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: