Canadian Medical Association

St. John’s; Dalhousie University, 1967; diagnostic radiology; past president, Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association (NLMA, 1979-80); past chair, Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Board of Directors; past president, CMA (1992-93); honorary life member, CMA. Died Sept. 18, 2020, aged 86. Survived by his wife Betty-Lou, 2 children and 2 grandsons. “After graduation Ron returned to the province he dearly loved and began his career as a radiologist at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital in St. John’s. During Ron’s 40-year tenure at St. Clare’s he served as president of both the NLMA and CMA. Ron was an adventurous soul whose extensive travel was driven by his interest in history and passion for polar exploration. Despite Ron’s worldwide adventures, which took him to all 7 continents, he spoke most fondly of his 1983 seal hunt voyage, where he was ship’s physician aboard the Lady Johnson II, captained by his dear friend Morrisey Johnson. Ron loved the sea, was an avid sailor, and spent many hours on Conception Bay in his boat, The Mighty Photon.” A colleague wrote: “Ron was a wonderful role model and mentor to all of the medical trainees lucky enough to have been guided under his watch. He accomplished this in a kind, caring and gregarious fashion that was a gift to us all. Not only was he a great radiologist and communicator and a true clinician’s clinician, but also and equally importantly he treated colleagues, nurses, other co-members of the health care team and patients with the greatest respect and compassion.” When he assumed the CMA presidency in 1992, he described to CMAJ his love for exploration and explorers, especially Sir Ernest Shackleton. “When Whelan arrived at Shackleton’s hut, which is only 900 km from the South Pole,” CMAJ reported, “he felt he was visiting a shrine. ‘I will never find words to describe the feeling of going into that hut and sitting in the same chair that Shackleton sat in over 70 years ago,’ he said. The words aren’t necessary, for a look at Whelan’s face describes perfectly the impact that experience had on him.”

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