Morris A. Duhaime, MD
After a half-century of active hospital service, Dr. Morris Duhaime retired from clinical work in 2016. However, he continues to see patients to this date in his private practice and when asked, never ceases to provide help and guidance to his countless former residents and colleagues.
Throughout his long and illustrious career, he has held the position of Chief of Orthopedics and Chief of Surgery at the CHU Sainte-Justine, and chief surgeon at the Shriners’ Hospital in Montreal, where he is now Chief-Emeritus. Notably, he is a full tenured Professor in both medical faculties in the city of Montreal: Professor of Surgery at the Université de Montréal and Professor Emeritus at McGill University.
Figure 1 Dr. Duhaime with several members of CHU Ste-Justine Orthopaedic service (circa 1980).
Dr. Duhaime was born in Coniston, Northern Ontario in Canada. He grew up in the Franco-Ontarian region of Northern Ontario and this characteristic was always close to his heart. He was an avid hockey player and played at Sacred Heart High School and as a Carabin at the University of Montreal. He was even scouted by the Detroit Red Wings in 1953-1954. The good news for our community is that he eventually decided on an academic career and went into orthopaedics. He was part of the inaugural group of residents when the Edouard-Samson Training program was created.
Figure 2 Dr. Duhaime was also a referee in his favorite sport.
Dr. Duhaime has brought his immense work ethic and friendly disposition to two generations of orthopaedic surgeons. Leading by example, he has held key positions at the national and international level, such as president of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association (1992-1993) and president of POSNA (1995-1996), where he was the first Canadian-based surgeon to ever hold that position.
Moreover, he has received honorary membership in SICOT and SOFCOT and was a founding member of the Quebec Scoliosis Society, the International Clubfoot Study Group, and the International Federation of Pediatric Orthopaedic Societies. In addition to providing outstanding care for thousands of patients, he has always been a staunch supporter of academics and resident education. He was director of the Edouard-Samson Orthopaedic Program at the Université de Montreal from 1981 to 1985. Furthermore, he has been recognized internationally with numerous visiting professorships in Hungary, Argentina, and Turkey to name but a few. Laurentian University, close to his neck of the woods, awarded him an honorary Doctorate in 1998. More recently, the Canadian Pediatric Orthopaedic Group named a best research presentation award after him.
Dr. Duhaime was a great motivator and was known to actively encourage his colleagues to maximize their potential. One such catchphrase was “Take your time, but let’s go!” which encapsulates not only his sense of excellence in patient care but also his dedication to efficient clinical care.
One of his more recent partners, Dr. Peter Glavas, recalls this episode:
“Dr. Duhaime knows everyone...I recall once there was a patient in clinic from West Africa that was going back home. Dr. Duhaime picked up the phone and dialed a former fellow of his from Senegal. He was able to arrange the child's follow-up visit from across the Atlantic in no time.”
On a more personal note, Dr. Duhaime is known as a family man. With his lovely wife, Denise, they had two daughters, both of whom have active professional careers. Dr. Duhaime made a point to spend family time every year in Wells, ME, for their annual summer vacation.
Figure 3. Dr. Duhaime with family at the wedding of one of his daughters.
We are proud to work with a person like Dr. Duhaime, and when we think of his contribution to pediatric orthopaedics in Canada and internationally, Dr. Duhaime is amongst the greatest and fully merits to be inducted into the POSNA Hall of Fame.
For all the members of the CHU Ste-Justine
Biography written by Dr. Stefan Parent, on behalf of the Hall of Fame Committee. 2023.