Remembering Dr. Ron Wigle
“Laugh a lot. A good sense of humour cures almost all of life’s ills”
On Wednesday September 21st, the Queen’s and Kingston communities lost a very special individual. Dr. Ron Wigle passed away with his family by his side at the age of 74.
Ron was a proud graduate of Queen’s Medicine (1965), and completed his internship, residency and fellowship training in respiratory medicine both at KGH and at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York. In 1971, Ron returned to work at Queen’s and KGH, where he founded the division of respirology alongside his colleague and dear friend, Dr. Peter Munt.
Ron served many roles at Queen’s from Director of the Residency Training Program, to Service Chief to Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education. Ron’s leadership also extended to the provincial and national stage; he served as president of the Ontario Thoracic Society and served on the Board of the Canadian Thoracic Society. He was a key figure in the early days of critical care in Ontario, serving as a Founding Member and Chairman of Ontario Critical Care Program.
Ron was a highly skilled clinician who was admired for his talent and ability, but what we will remember most is his incredible sense of humour. This jovial nature was part of what made him an outstanding – and memorable – teacher. He approached every interaction with a joke or something humourous to say, and found great pleasure in making others smile.
Ron will also be remembered for his outstanding mentorship. He imbued confidence in others, and his trainees and mentees always knew that he had their backs. Along with his late wife Barbara, Ron welcomed hundreds of students in to his home and put a tremendous amount of energy into building strong personal relationships with his trainees.
Late in his career, Ron was honoured with the establishment of a School of Medicine award in his name. The award was created in recognition of his role as an outstanding mentor, and the professional values he epitomized throughout his career. The purpose of the award, as written in the Terms of Reference, characterizes the wonderful person that he was:
“Dr. Wigle was committed to promoting the success of others to the ultimate benefit of the medical community at large. Throughout his exemplary career at Queen’s University, numerous faculty, undergraduate and graduate students flourished through his wise guidance and encouraging leadership. This award, named in his honor, will help to perpetuate these important virtues by recognizing those who embody them.”
We were fortunate to have such an incredible person here in the Faculty of Health Sciences, and Ron will be deeply missed.
Please share your stories about Ron by commenting on the blog, or better yet, drop by the Macklem House…my door is always open.
Thank you to Dr. Leslie Flynn, Dr. Stephen Archer and Jen Valberg for their help in preparing this blog.
Dr. Ron Wigle’s obituary can be found here: http://yourlifemoments.ca/sitepages/obituary.asp?oid=977194