Martin Gale McLoughlin

No matter who you are and where you live, you owe a debt of gratitude to Vancouver’s Dr. Martin G. McLoughlin. A professor, researcher and urologist, Dr. McLoughlin is a true medical pioneer. He helped revolutionize his profession, and by extension, improved medical treatment for millions. Dr. McLoughlin was one of the early researchers of kidney transplants, one of the first to do auto-transplantations in humans, and he developed the technique for micro-vas-reconstruction.  If that wasn’t enough, this Métis doctor went on to become the first in the world to do prostate surgery on an out-patient basis, thereby improving the quality of life, and treatment for millions of men.  As a medical resident, he was once told that his prostate experiments using canines were too expensive, so Dr. McLoughlin switched to rats. Because their organs are much smaller, he learned to perform micro-surgery, perfecting his technique in a closet at Johns Hopkins Medical Centre. He has taught at some of the world’s great universities including McGill, Johns Hopkins, the University of California and the University of Texas at Houston, he is much sought after as a presenter at learned conferences and has become a medical leader in his home province of British Columbia, serving as a Professor of Surgery at the University of British Columbia for many years. Currently, he is creating the First Nations Institute for Aboriginal Health which will combine modern medicine with the wisdom of traditional Aboriginal healing methods. Growing up in one of Vancouver’s poorer areas, the future professor worked at various jobs while in school. Poor grades and social conflict resulted in him leaving school. He was later convinced he should give education another shot. With money in short-supply, he worked in a cannery and won scholarships to pay for medical school. The rest is history. For his contributions to making our world a healthier place and for the example he sets and for his leadership, Dr. Martin McLoughlin received a 1997 National Aboriginal Achievement Award in medicine.