Dr. Alice Benjamin named an Officer of the Order of Canada on the eve of her retirement

Dr. Alice Benjamin has been a pillar of the Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) since 1979, completing over four decades dedicated to the care of mothers in Quebec.

Holding a BSc from the University of Kerala, Dr. Benjamin went on to obtain her medical degree from the University of Delhi in 1971. Completing her postgraduate training in both India and Toronto she then joined the RVH in 1979 as a maternal fetal medicine specialist, after a brief stop-over in Prince Edward County. In the following years of practice, she has cared for numerous mothers, concentrating on the care of those whose pregnancies faced higher risk and delivered countless babies. She developed the Antenatal Day center and the multidisciplinary diabetic clinic which permitted women with complicated pregnancies not only to expect good pregnancy outcomes but allowed them to do so without the necessity for hospitalization. This was a pioneering approach in North America when first established; now this has become the norm. These achievements were recognized with the award of Chevalière of the order of Quebec in 1993.

In addition to her dedication to her patients, she has shown the same commitment to teaching; being a mentor and role model to hundreds of medical students and residents from McGill University and those coming to the RVH to complete subspecialty training. Her never-ending desire to educate herself and others and to contribute to multidisciplinary events sets an example for all and indeed prompted the creation of three awards to recognize academic achievements amongst our residents and trainees; ‘The Alice Benjamin Award for Excellence in Obstetrics’, established by the Alexander family,  the ‘Molson Award for Educational Excellence’ and the ‘Dr. Alice Benjamin Leadership Award’ supported by Chaya and Lorne Lieberman.

Her long standing commitment to women’s and in particular maternal health, has now been recognised with her being named as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

As she approaches her retirement and a well-earned respite from years of interrupted nights and weekends, her colleagues, the many trainees she has helped nurture, her patients and all the many babies that she has delivered [many of whom have since already started their own families] all express their thanks for the unwavering dedication to the specialty that she has demonstrated over the years and wish her the very best for the future.

Dr. Alice Benjamin