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Murray, Robert G. (1917–2003)

Robert Murray, left, presents the Lindsay Gold Medal in Medicine to Harold Baldwin, May 1975.
University of Saskatchewan Archives A-9929

Robert Gordon Murray was born in Saskatoon on June 10, 1917, and died there on October 16, 2003. He received his BA at the University of Saskatchewan in 1938 and his MD at the University of Toronto in 1941. After service in the Royal Navy, he practised in Saskatoon until 1950, leaving to specialize in ophthalmology in Toronto and in neuro-ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital. He was the founder and head of the ophthalmology department at the University of Saskatchewan in 1955, until he became dean of Medicine in 1973. Between 1963 and 1973, he also spent one or two days each week in Regina as head of the Medical Care Insurance Commission. Although the medical profession and government regarded each other with suspicion after the 23-day “doctor’s strike” in 1962, he achieved a degree of co-operation and efficiency that no full-time bureaucrat could have aspired to in that climate and time, and was able to keep in check those doctors who were seen as attempting to “milk” the system. He was called out of retirement to serve as chair of the Saskatchewan Commission on Directions in Health Care, which reported in April 1990 after twenty-one months of study.

C. Stuart Houston

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