Winter (Volume 28, Number 4)

The Dunlop-Dottridge Lectureship: A Heritage of Excellence

By Elvira Bangert, MD, FRCPC; and Ronald M. Laxer, MDCM, FRCPC

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The Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) annual Dunlop-Dottridge Lectureship is presented by giants in the field of rheumatology on an international scale.1 Initially established in 1973 as the Dunlop Annual Lectureship (later Dunlop-Dottridge), this started a long tradition of excellence, through which world leaders in rheumatology (Table 1) have been awarded this prestigious honour at the time of the Annual Scientific Meeting.1

Named after arthritis care pioneers Mr. Edward Dunlop and Mrs. Rita Dottridge, the Dunlop-Dottridge lectureship has a rich history. Mr. Edward Dunlop (June 27, 1919-January 6, 1981) was a soldier, politician, and public servant who served as the initial Executive Director of the Canadian Arthritis and Rheumatism Society (CARS), now known as The Arthritis Society. He was a Progressive Conservative member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1963 to 1971, representing the Toronto ridings of Forest Hill and York-Forest Hill. He also served as a cabinet minister in the government of Bill Davis.2 In 1943, in a heroic attempt to protect his soldiers by attempting to dispose of a grenade during a training exercise, he was blinded and lost part of his right hand.3 Mr. Dunlop was awarded the George Medal as well as the Order of the British Empire for World War II service, and was named a member of the Order of Canada in 1980. Queens University granted him a Legum Doctor (L.L.D.) and organized an International Scientific Symposium in 1983, “In Memory of Edward Dunlop.” 3

Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Edward A. Dunlop, GM, OBE, CM, 1919-1981.

Under the leadership of Mr. Dunlop, CARS, a voluntary health agency composed both of lay and medical scientific representatives, offered bursaries and raised funds to support research, education, and treatment of rheumatologic conditions. Mr. Dunlop played a crucial role in establishing Rheumatic Disease Units (RDU) promoting education in the field of rheumatology at all medical schools in Canada.4 It was 1975 when CARS achieved its major objective and the last of these units was established at Université Laval. Each of these RDUs was supported by inpatient beds and provided medical students, students in the allied health professions, residents and fellows with a wide range of clinical, educational and research opportunities. In addition, CARS actively supported patient education initiatives in the arthritis care field. It also offered bursaries and educational support to increase the number of allied health professionals‒ in particular physiotherapists and occupational therapists.4

It is not surprising at all given the outstanding accomplishments, services and significant commitment and contribution of Mr. Edward Dunlop to the field of rheumatology that the Dunlop Annual Lectureship was named in his honour. The lectureship was initiated by the CRA to recognize a rheumatologist who was deemed as having made a major contribution to the advancement of rheumatology on an international scale. With humility, Mr. Dunlop was hesitant at first to accept the recognition of the lectureship, but reluctantly agreed, providing that Rita Dottridge be co-named. Mrs. Rita Dottridge was his devoted personal assistant and due to his blindness, he relied on her for much of his administrative work.5

Today, we are proud that the CRA has chosen to honour the legacy of Mr. Dunlop and Mrs. Dottridge with the annual Dunlop-Dottridge lectureship recognizing excellence in rheumatology on an international scale.

The authors would like to thank Dr. Tassos Anastassiades for his review and helpful comments, as well as Dr. Murray Urowitz for providing us with supplemental information. A special thanks to Claire McGowan of the CRA for her support and assistance as well.


1. Canadian Rheumatology Association. Awards. Available at awards/. Accessed November 2018.

2. Wikipedia entry on Dr. Edward Dunlop. Available at https://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Edward_Arunah_Dunlop. Accessed November 2018.

3. The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada Regimental Museum and Archives.

4. The Canadian Rheumatism Association. History section. Accessed November 2018.

5. Personal communication with Dr. Paul Davis. November 2018.

Elvira Bangert, MD, FRCPC
Clinician Investigator Program (CIP)
Queen’s University
Kingston, Ontario
Mount Sinai Hospital
Division of Rheumatology
Toronto, Ontario

Ronald M. Laxer, MDCM, FRCPC
Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine,
University of Toronto
Staff Rheumatologist,
The Hospital for Sick Children
Toronto, Ontario

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