Division of Geriatric Medicine

William Molloy


Professor Emeritus, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine



Education and Professional Standing

Dr. D. W. "Willie" Molloy was raised and educated in Waterford, Ireland. He attained his medical degree in 1977 at University College, Cork and became a member of the Royal College of Physicians Ireland in 1980. He came to Canada the following year and worked towards specialties in Internal Medicine (1985) and then Geriatric Medicine (1987). He was the recipient of several research fellowships in Winnipeg, London, Ontario and then at McMaster. In 1987 he became Assistant Professor of Medicine and Associate Professor two years later. Full professorship was granted in 1998.

As geriatrics leaves virtually no social, medical, legal or psychological stone unturned, so too have Dr. Molloy's research interests touched all these areas.

He is recognized as an expert in capacity and has written books and articles on it and is often called as an expert witness in cases involving the wills of the elderly. As dementia is a serious problem as people live longer, he has conducted or participated in many clinical trials of new treatments. Recently, antibiotics were tested in people with Alzheimer's disease with positive results. Dr. Molloy has also been deeply involved with improving the tools of research with several instruments being developed to measure cognition, behaviour, mood, capacity, satisfaction with health care, quality of life at the end of life, etc. His consistent approach to patient assessment has resulted in a large computerized database of over 2000 cognitively impaired patients. Many of these patients predate the introduction of dementia treatments so the database makes it possible to study the natural history of dementia in addition to countless other questions. It is also a valuable teaching tool as junior researchers may test their hypotheses here before committing to clinical trials. To promote the autonomy of the elderly, Dr. Molloy wrote the advance health care directive, "Let Me Decide". Let Me Decide requires the user to understand the medical implications of their end-of-life choices and puts those choices into terms which health care professionals can operationalize rather than interpret. It has had 21 editions and is published in several languages. To study physicians' prescribing habits and improve the use of medication in the elderly, Dr. Molloy has devised the "Ideal Detail". Pharmaceutical representatives are instructed how to present and educate physicians in non-biased ways.

Dr. Molloy has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, published several books about Alzheimer's disease and helping families cope with those stresses. He is a consultant geriatrician, Professor of Medicine, Director of the Regional Geriatric Program and now, Head of the St. Peter's/McMaster Centre for Studies in Aging.

Academic Interests

As geriatrics leaves virtually no social, medical, legal or psychological stone unturned, so too have Dr.Molloy’s research interests touched all these areas.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research has just approved Dr. Molloy’s recent RCT application entitled “Multi-centre blinded, randomized, controlled trial comparing different regiments of the antibiotics doxycycline and rifampin for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease”. Dr. Molloy and his research team received funds in the amount of 1.9 million dollars for this study.