James F. Murray, MD, FRCSC

1921 – 2003

Jim Murray was an iconic hand surgeon and one of the most respected surgeons of his day. He graduated from the University of Toronto in 1943 and served with the RCAMC during World War II. He trained in general surgery in Toronto but did his plastic surgery training in both Toronto and Montreal.

He became the head of the Division of Plastic Surgery at the Michael Garron Hospital (formerly Toronto East General Hospital) in 1953 before moving to Sunnybrook Health Science Centre working with Drs. Joe Gruss and Susan Mackinnon. He was the President of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons and the team doctor for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1948 to 1964 and liked to claim that it was his influence that led them to 5 Stanley Cups. Dr. Murray was surgeon to Team Canada during their spectacular hockey series with the USSR in 1972. He was honored at the Seventh International Congress of the International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand in Vancouver, Canada for contributions to field of hand surgery and the James F. Murray Award for Excellence in Surgery of the Hand was established at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgery to commemorate his contributions to the field. Dr. Murray was a remarkable teacher and would willingly help trainees negotiate through complex hand procedures but always insisted on putting on the dressing himself at the end, as he was convinced that this could cause more damage than the surgery.