Passing of former Royal College President Henry Begg Dinsdale – pioneer of the CanMEDS framework
We are saddened by the passing of Henry Begg Dinsdale, CM, MD, FRCPC, Royal College President from 1994 to 1996. A neurologist, researcher and scholar, he was a major force in the development of the Royal College’s world-renowned CanMEDS Physician Competency Framework. Dr. Dinsdale died on May 30, 2023, at the age of 91.
Born in Kingston, Ontario in 1931, Dr. Dinsdale received his medical degree from Queen’s University in 1955. He pursued clinical and research postgraduate training in neurology at Kingston General Hospital, at the Maudsley and National hospitals in London, England, and as resident and Harvard fellow in Clinical Neurology at Boston City Hospital.
Dr. Dinsdale returned to Kingston in 1963 to join the staff of both Kingston General Hospital and Hotel Dieu Hospital, where he was Physician-in-Chief from 1983 to 1993.
A committed researcher and educator, Dr. Dinsdale joined the faculty at Queen’s in 1963, advancing to professor in 1973. He chaired the Division of Neurology from 1971 to 1983, headed the Department of Medicine from 1983 to 1993 and was associate dean of Research from 1993 to 1996. In 1997, he became professor emeritus.
Dr. Dinsdale’s Fellowship with the Royal College began in 1961. By 1971, he had become active in Royal College work, serving on the Specialty Committee in Neurology and elected to Council in 1984 and 1988. Prior to his presidency, he chaired the Examining Committee in Neurology from 1984 to 1992, the Regional Advisory Committee for Ontario in 1986, and the Research Committee from 1986 to 1990.
A major focus of Dr. Dinsdale’s presidency was the development of the Royal College’s CanMEDS Framework for Physician Competency, the aim of which is to improve patient care by enhancing physician training. Adopted by Council in 1996, CanMEDS is now a core program of the Royal College and has become an internationally recognized model for training and evaluating physicians.
“Henry Dinsdale was the quintessential quadruple threat, with outstanding contributions to clinical medicine, research, teaching and medical leadership,” said Royal College Past-President Richard K. Reznick, MD, FRCSC, FACS, FRCSEd (hon), FRCSI (hon), FRCS (hon). “An icon at Queen’s, he served nationally as President of the Royal College, as well as the Canadian Congress of Neurological Scientists. His illustrious career was only superseded by his role as a devoted husband, father and grandfather.”
Among his many awards and honours, Dr. Dinsdale was appointed Member of the Order of Canada in 1999, in recognition of his profound impact on the Canadian medical profession and for his international reputation as a scientist, clinician, educator and scholar.