Distinguished Fellow is the highest honour awarded by the Academy.  It is open to individuals who must meet the usual criteria for Fellowship, but whose accomplishments are considered of such high distinction that only a select few are worthy of this designation.  No more than one Distinguished Fellow will be elected in any given year, and there can be no more than 10 Distinguished Fellows at any time.

Distinguished Fellows must be nominated by five active Fellows.  Adjudication is carried out by the Governance and Nominating Committee with final selection by the Board.

Distinguished Fellows


The Hon. Monique Bégin (1936-2023)

The Hon. Monique Bégin is Professor Emeritus at the University of Ottawa and Former Canadian Federal Minister of Health.


The Hon. Michael Kirby (1938-2021)

Dr. Kirby was a member of the Senate of Canada from 1984 and retired in 2006. He held numerous senior appointments in the civil service and was the founder and former Chairman of the Board for the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Calvin R Stiller

Dr. Stiller is well known nationally and internationally as an outstanding physician, scientist and entrepreneur who has championed innovation in health and biomedical research and its application for the improvement of health and the economy. He is a pioneer in multi-organ transplantation and diabetes in Canada. Dr. Stiller led the Canadian multi-center study that established the importance of cyclosporine in transplantation and led to its worldwide use as first-line therapy to prevent acute rejection. He was the first to demonstrate efficacy of immuno-suppression treatment in newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetes. He has published over 250 scientific papers. Dr. Stiller is the recipient of the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario and in 2010 he was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. In 2010, he is also the recipient of the 2010 Canada Gairdner Wightman Award.

Stephen Lewis

Stephen Lewis is the co-founder and the board chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.  He is a Professor of Distinction at Ryerson University in Toronto and a Professor of Practice in Global Governance at the Institute for the Study of International Development at McGill University. He is co-founder and co-director of AIDS-Free World in the United States.

Jean Rochon

Jean Rochon is Professor Emeritus, Université Laval; Adjunct professor at Université de Montréal; and consultant to the Institut national de santé publique du Québec.


Henry G. Friesen C.C., OM, MD, FRSC, FRCP(C), FCAHS

Dr. Friesen received his MD from the University of Manitoba in 1958.  He began his career in research in endocrinology with a fellowship at the New England Medical Center, Boston.  His initial academic appointment was at McGill University from 1965 to 1973.  From 1973 to 1992 he was professor and Head of the Department of Physiology and Professor of Medicine at the University of Manitoba.  His innovative research resulted in the discovery of the human pituitary hormone prolactin, defining its role in health and disease and for which he was awarded a Gairdner Foundation International Award in 1977.  Dr. Friesen has received many distinguished awards including the McLaughlin Medal of the Royal Society of Canada, the Koch Medal the highest award of the Endocrine Society, the Wightman award, the Starr award the CMA’s highest honor, eight honorary degrees, and was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2001.  He was appointed Officer in the Order of Canada in 1987 and promoted to Companion in 2002.  In 2004 he was inducted into the Order of Manitoba.

Dorothy Pringle OC RN PHD FCAHS

Dorothy Pringle is professor emeritus at the University of Toronto where she was Dean of Nursing from 1988-1999. Her degrees are from McMaster University (BScN), the University of Colorado (MS, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing) and the University of Illinois (PhD, Nursing). She taught nursing at McMaster University, Laurentian University where she was also director of the School of Nursing and the University of Toronto. She has five honorary degrees and is a recipient of the Jeanne Mance Award from the Canadian Nurses Association for lifetime contributions to nursing. She is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and an Officer of the Order of Canada. Her research and policy contributions focused on the care and quality of daily life of older people with cognitive impairment and the contributions of their family caregivers.

Martha Piper OC OBC FCAHS

Dr. Martha Cook Piper was the Interim President and Vice Chancellor of The University of British Columbia from 2015-16.  She also served as the 11th President of the University of British Columbia from 1997 to 2006.  Dr. Piper has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Montreal, Shoppers Drug Mart, TransAlta Corporation and Grosvenor Americas Ltd.  She has also served as a board member of CARE Canada, the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, and the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation.   She was Chair of the Board of the National Institute of Nanotechnology and served as a member of the Trilateral Commission. Dr. Piper is an officer in the Order of Canada and a member of the Order of British Columbia.  She was named Educator of the Year by the Learning Partnership in 2004, was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2008.

Frederick H. Lowy MD CM

Frederick Lowy has had prominent careers as a psychiatrist/psychoanalyst and as an academic administrator. Born in Austria in 1933, he came to Canada in 1945 and was granted citizenship in 1950.  He graduated from Baron Byng High School in Montreal.

Dr. Lowy was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto (1980-1987), Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Inquiry of Ontario (1998-1990) and of the Tri-Council Working Group on Ethics of Research with Human Subjects.  In 1995, Lowy returned to Montreal as President (then called Rector) of Concordia University, serving two five-year terms and then was recalled as emergency Interim President.  (2011-2012). Between appointments at Concordia, he served as interim director of the Sauvé Foundation (2007 ) and of the Trudeau Foundation (2009 ).