Cecil Rorabeck has been named president-elect of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He assumes the presidency in February 2013.
“At the risk of using a cliché, it really is a great honour to be selected as the next president,” Rorabeck says. “My active involvement with the Royal College began over a decade ago and the work I’ve been a part of has been a great source of pride, fulfillment and personal and professional development. I look forward to continuing these same efforts in a new and enhanced capacity.”
Rorabeck, one of the world’s leading experts on hip and knee replacement surgery, is a professor emeritus and former Department of Orthopedic Surgery chair at Western and London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). A Western graduate (MD ’68), he received an honorary degree from his alma mater in recognition of the worldwide impact he has made in medicine, and his dedication to the community. In October 2010, Rorabeck and his wife, Linda, donated $1 million to the university’s matching funds program to support the endowed chairs program.
For more than 30 years, he practiced total joint replacement surgery in London, before pursuing other opportunities with the Robarts Research Institute and as a member of the National Research Council. From 2001-05, he worked as chief surgeon at LHSC.
Rorabeck served as interim Robarts CEO and scientific director, overseeing its consolidation with Western, finalized in June 2007.
Prior to accepting the president-elect nomination, Rorabeck stepped down as chair of the board of Royal College Canada International, the college’s new charitable subsidiary tasked with expanding the international initiatives of the Royal College on a cost-recovery basis.
“We are honoured to have Dr. Rorabeck selected as the next president for the Royal College,” says Andrew Padmos, Royal College CEO. “He is not only a leading expert in his specialty of orthopedic surgery, but an experienced educator and dedicated humanitarian. Cecil’s unique combination of leadership, wisdom and experience will be a definite asset to our organization as we pursue our goal of better health and care for all Canadians.”
Rorabeck has served as president of several Canadian orthopaedic societies and foundations and sat on a diverse range of Royal College committees, many concurrently. In March 2011, he joined the Stratford Shakespeare Festival Board of Governors, where he assists the Advancement Committee.
He started the Canadian chapter of Operation Walk — a non-profit, non-governmental medical services organization run by volunteers. Each year he travels to Guatemala with a team of health care professionals where they offer free hip and knee replacements to locals and train several South American resident-volunteers.