Fall 2015 (Volume 25, Number 3)

Legacy in Rheumatology

By Claire Bombardier, MD, FRCPC

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In 2012 and 2014, two rheumatology icons were lost and a lectureship in the name of each was created to pay homage to their memory.


Hugh Smythe Visiting Professor in Fibromyalgia

Dr. Mary-Ann Fitzcharles, Associate Professor of Medicine, McGill University Health Centre, Division of Rheumatology, and Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit, Montreal, Quebec was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Hugh Smythe Visiting Professorship in Fibromyalgia in March 2014.

This visiting professorship was created in 2013 to honour Dr. Hugh Arthur Smythe’s area of research.

Dr. Smythe graduated with a medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1950 after which time he specialized in rheumatic disease, caring for patients with rheumatologic diseases for almost a half-century. In clinical investigation, Dr. Smythe was a leader in the description of fibromyalgia as a valid clinical entity, studying its associated pain and sleep-associated mechanisms to become a leading expert in fibromyalgia. He was a major contributor to arthritis education and awareness as a long-standing director at The Arthritis Society (TAS), as well as to the development of arthritis self-management programs throughout Canada. Dr. Smythe assisted hundreds of doctors to establish a foundation of rheumatology knowledge. He was Chief of the Rheumatology Unit at Wellesley Hospital, then later at Toronto Western Hospital. He was a founder and served as a co-editor of the Journal of Rheumatology. Dr. Smythe passed away in October 2012.



Peter Lee Visiting Professorship in Scleroderma

Dr. Daniel Furst, Professor of Rheumatology, Director of Clinical Research, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, was named the inaugural Peter Lee Visiting Professorship in Scleroderma in June 2013.

Dr. Thomas Medsger from the University of Pittsburgh will serve as the Peter Lee Visiting Professorship in Scleroderma beginning in June 2015.

In June 2014, Dr. Peter Lee passed away after a lengthy illness. Dr. Lee had been practicing since the 1970s; he spent over three decades researching scleroderma and helping patients through his clinic. Much of Dr. Lee’s career was spent as Director of the Scleroderma Clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital. He was a former member of the Medical Advisory Board, Scleroderma Research Foundation (USA), and advisor to the Scleroderma Society of Ontario. He was acknowledged as an international expert on the subject and played a prominent role in the Canadian rheumatology field. Prior to his passing, a Visiting Professorship was created in his honour.

Both of these respective Visiting Professorships in Fibromyalgia and Scleroderma are awarded every one or two years. These events are well attended and enjoy a growing reputation as a prestigious part of the University of Toronto citywide rheumatology rounds.

Claire Bombardier, MD, FRCPC
Professor of Medicine,
University of Toronto
Division of Rheumatology,
University of Toronto
Senior Scientist,
Toronto General Research Institute,
University Health Network Canada Research Chair in Knowledge Transfer for Musculoskeletal Care
Past Co-scientific Director,
Canadian Arthritis Network
Toronto, Ontario

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