McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

McMaster obstetrics pioneer returns for campus visit

Published: April 10, 2017
Eleanor and Murray Enkin

Eleanor and Murray Enkin returned to McMaster for namesake lecture

Dr. Murray Enkin, a McMaster University professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynecology who retired almost 30 years ago, returned to campus recently for the last of the annual Enkin Lectureships hosted by the departments of obstetrics and gynecology; health research methods, evidence and impact and the midwifery education program.

Murray and his wife Eleanor were strong advocates of family-centred maternity care and Enkin was recognized with the Order of Canada in 2013 for his contributions to maternal care and the development of midwifery as a recognized profession in Canada. McMaster University began the first Canadian university midwifery program in 1993, in a consortium with Laurentian and Ryerson Universities.

Murray and his wife Eleanor were guests of Eileen Hutton, assistant dean of the midwifery program. At the event, professors Pat Mohide, Karyn Kaufman and Lehana Thabane provided tributes to the Enkins, talking about the dramatic change Enkin lead in developing evidence-based perinatal clinical trials and systematic reviews as well as championing family centred childbirth practices such as the presence of fathers for delivery and non-labour room deliveries.  

Enkin, who began at McMaster in 1965 and retired in 1988, was thanked for his impact and influence on hospitals, professional associations, politicians and policy makers, as well as thousands of students in obstetrics and gynecology and midwifery.

The lecture was given by Dr. Alex Jadad, professor of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, who spoke on the similarities between birth and death and the importance of focusing on the interval of life.

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