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Paying Tribute to Dr. Martin McKneally

James Rutka
James Rutka

With this issue of the Spotlight, we will be witnessing the final editorial written by Dr. Martin McKneally, and celebrating all the issues over which he has presided since his term as Editor-in- Chief began in 2002. Over the past 15 years, Dr. McKneally has continued to improve upon the manner in which we disseminate news and information to members of our faculty in the Department of Surgery and to our Alumni. The Spotlight began as a rather simple project with just a few pages of information that was distributed quarterly; it has now turned into a very robust and highly professional online and print periodical which summarizes in detail the progress made in the Department of Surgery.

As you know, each issue of Spotlight has a lead article with timely information for faculty. There are also descriptions of events which are highlights in the Department of Surgery, including Gallie Day, various University Rounds and lectures, promotions, new appointments, awards, and of course the Editor’s column.

Dr. McKneally has been more than a beacon of light for the Department of Surgery through his many communications and editorials. For example, in the summer/ fall issue 2016, he discussed the newly designated job description of Surgeon-Ethicist, in the Department of Surgery – a job description he was instrumental in creating along with his colleagues. Dr McKneally was also instrumental in establishing the Balfour Lecture in Surgical Ethics, an annual lecture now in its fourth year. We are indeed pleased that Dr. McKneally could be named the third annual Balfour Lecturer last year.

Martin McKneally

Martin McKneally with the Joe Wilder painting of contemplation before surgery

Dr. McKneally did his residency training in surgery at the University of Minnesota where he also obtained a PhD in Immunology. He subsequently became Head of Thoracic Surgery at Albany Medical College. Then, an opportunity arose for him and his family at the University of Toronto in 1990, and he came to be the Division Chair of this specialty.

Over the years, he has developed very strong interests in Surgical Bioethics, and has received graduate training in this area from the University of Chicago, and the University of Toronto’s Joint Centre for Bio Ethics.

Not only have I been impressed with his humanism in surgery, but his kind, caring, and effective teaching style, which I know has benefited numerous faculty members in our Department.

Please help me in thanking and congratulating Dr. McKneally for his many contributions to the Division of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, and his role as Editor-in-Chief of the Surgical Spotlight. Our history since 2002 has been written, in no small part, because of his tremendous efforts and attention to detail. We wish Dr. McKneally, and his lovely wife Deborah well as they transition their homes and future careers to Boston, Massachussetts where they will be closer to their children and grandchildren.

James Rutka

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