LHSC is pleased to congratulate Dr. Peter Fowler, former medical director of Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic, on his recent appointment to The Order of Canada.

Appointed for his pioneering contributions to the development of sport medicine in Canada, Dr. Fowler has a long record of achievement.

With his career start as the first orthopedic surgical resident at Western University under the mentorship of the late Dr. Jack Kennedy, Dr. Fowler learned about and went on to perfect surgical techniques and rehabilitation using an arthroscope in aid of injured elite and amateur athletes from across the country. Following the completion of his residency, he and Dr. Kennedy would go on to grow what began in 1974 as a small athletic injuries clinic into one of the largest, most comprehensive sport medicine clinics in North America, The Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic.

In addition to establishing himself as a prominent orthopaedic surgeon and clinician, he was also distinguished as a surgical educator. During his career, Dr. Fowler trained hundreds of young surgeons from around the world to perform leading edge surgical techniques and on the art of how to take care of patients. His graduates include many of the current opinion leaders across Canada and around the world.

Dr. Fowler’s extensive achievements and accolades over the course of his career are notable. Among these are his role as a founding member and president of the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine, his receipt of the Sport Medicine Council of Canada Lifetime Achievement Award, and receiving the inaugural Western Alumni Professional Achievement Award. He has also served as Chief Medical Officer to Canadian National teams at Commonwealth and Olympic Games.

Additionally, Dr. Fowler was elected as the president of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sport Medicine, the most influential society in this specialty, where he was one of only two Canadians to ever be honoured with this position. He was also the first president of the International Society of Arthroscopy and Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine (ISAKOS), which is now to be the largest and most influential sport medicine society internationally.

Dr. Fowler also played an important role with respect to research, having published several hundred peer-reviewed papers and dozens of book chapters. He was particularly proud of the work that the Fowler Kennedy team published in the New England Journal of Medicine that compared knee arthroscopy to non-operative care for knee arthritis. This paper was awarded the Canadian Institute for Health-Canadian Medical Association Journal Top Achievements in Health Research for 2009 and continues to have tremendous impact in the use of arthroscopy worldwide.

“Dr. Fowler is truly an icon in sport medicine,” says Dr. Robert Litchfield, Medical Director, Fowler Kennedy Sports Medicine Clinic at LHSC. “I have known him since I was a first year medical student spending my elective time in the sport medicine clinic, and whether his patient was a Canadian Olympian, a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, his approach and attention to detail was the same. His vision was to create a clinic in which surgeons would work alongside primary care physicians, physiotherapists and athletic therapists with a common goal of providing the best possible care to injured athletes. This focus on collaboration has also become part of his legacy – he always humbly acknowledged the clinic team for any success bestowed upon him.”

Created in 1967, the Order of Canada is one of Canada’s highest civilian honours, recognizing outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Close to 7,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order and while their contributions are varied, they have all enriched the lives of others. Appointments are made by the governor general on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada.