July 12, 1921

(Upper Island Cove, Newfoundland)


July 14, 2007


MD, Dalhousie University (1948)

Awards & Honours:

2001: Honorary LLD, Memorial University

1992: Master of the American College of Physicians

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Picture of Ian Rusted

Established the first medical school in the province of Newfoundland

Ian Rusted

A pioneer builder for rural medicine and champion to underserved communities

After completing medical school and postgraduate training, Dr. Ian Rusted returned to Newfoundland where he specialized in internal medicine and worked as a medical consultant for the provincial department of health. During this time, he visited many cottage hospitals and worked with rural doctors. Early in his career, Dr. Rusted began to see the need for a medical school in Newfoundland. While many questioned the feasibility of a medical school in a poorer, underserved province, he remained undeterred. Dr. Rusted’s vision materialized. When the Faculty of Medicine opened at Memorial University, he served as its first dean.  

Key Facts

By 2007, Memorial University had graduated almost 2,000 medical students

Authored many articles, scientific papers and book chapters, including a chapter in New Medical Schools at Home and Abroad (1978)

Held positions of leadership with the Council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Board of Regents for the American College of Physicians, and the Association of Medical Colleges

Facilitated the development of Memorial’s Schools of Nursing and Pharmacy

Professional timeline

Impact on lives today

Through his belief in strong clinical skills and dedication to community-based learning, Dr. Rusted laid the foundation for superb medical education that was attuned to the unique realities of rural medicine. Today, the medical graduates of Memorial continue to walk out the doors that Dr. Rusted helped to open and take their training around the world.


Picture of Ian Rusted


  • Ian Rusted 2013 program

    Ian Rusted inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

    Halifax, Nova Scotia

  • Ian Rusted 2000 Timeline image

    Preserving the Past

    After his retirement from Memorial University, Dr. Rusted continued to serve the university. In 2000, he helped to establish the Founder’s Archive at the Health Sciences Library.

  • During Dr. Rusted’s tenure as dean, Memorial’s faculty of medicine became a global leader in medical education

    In 1979, he continued to enhance and grow the faculty through his appointment of Vice-President (Health Sciences), a position he held until his retirement in 1988.

  • Within a few short years, Memorial’s medical school was housed in a temporary building and had hired a handful of faculty

    Health and Medical Education & Training, Leadership in Organizational Development

    The first medical students were admitted in 1969.

  • After convincing the provincial and federal governments of his idea for a medical school in Newfoundland, Dr. Rusted was appointed Director of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Coordinator of Planning for the proposed new school

    Health and Medical Education & Training, Leadership in Organizational Development

    A year later, Dr. Rusted was named Memorial University’s first Dean of Medicine.

  • Upon his return to Newfoundland in 1952, Dr. Rusted was hired as a medical consultant to the Department of Health

    The following year, he was named Director of Medical Education at the General Hospital.

  • After graduating from medical school in 1948, Dr. Rusted continued his education at McGill University and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota

    Although both institutions offered him positions, he chose to return to Newfoundland.


He was a gentleman with fierce determination to see things through.