Dr. James Hubert Roth (1951-2013)
On February 1, 2013, Dr. Jim Roth, renowned hand surgeon and founding partner of the Hand and Upper Limb Centre, passed away.
Jim Roth graduated from the University of Western Ontario Medical School in 1975. During his University days, Jim played football for the University's Mustangs and was a feared and competitive athlete. He graduated from Western's School of Medicine in 1975 receiving the Lange Award as the medical student with the highest score in his class. Jim completed a rotating internship at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria BC and then continued his clinical orthopaedic training in London. During his orthopaedic surgery residency he spent one year as Dr. J.C. Kennedy’s research resident. Jim conducted pioneering research on a synthetic ligament for the knee and published multiple basic and clinical studies on the effectiveness of this device. In 1981, Jim received the prestigious R. Samuel McLaughlin Fellowship and spent time with Dr. J. Leonard Goldner in Hand and Microsurgery at Duke University Medical School prior to starting practice at Victoria Hospital in London, Ontario on January 1, 1982.
Jim pioneered the development of arthroscopic surgery of the wrist and travelled widely speaking about this innovation, writing papers and book chapters and preparing surgical video's and teaching cadaver training sessions. He won numerous awards during this period including the J. Edward Samson Award for Best Orthopaedic Research in Canada and the O'Donoghue Sports Medicine Research Award from the USA. He was honoured with the Travelling Fellowship Award from the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine and The European Sports Medicine Society, and represented Canada as the American-British-Canadian Travelling Fellow.
In 1978, Jim became a full professor at Western. In January of 1992, Jim moved to St. Joseph's Health Centre in London and together with Dr. Bob McFarlane, he established the Hand and Upper Limb Centre (HULC). Under Jim's guidance and mentorship, HULC has grown into the largest upper extremity surgical centre in Canada and mostly because of Jim's vision, the unit was able to establish itself as one of the premier centres in the world for upper extremity clinical care, research and teaching. Jim trained countless residents and since 1992 has trained more than 80 Fellows who are practicing all around the world. Jim authored more than 150 scientific papers and book chapters and has treated tens of thousands of patients. As a measure of his influence, during the stewardship of Jim, HULC collectively published 787 peer reviewed papers and book chapters and received 262 Awards. Over 21 years, HULC garnered almost 42 million dollars in Research Funding. in 2004, HULC was awarded the UWO Faculty of Medicine Team Award of Excellence.
In more recent years, Jim became an important administrator. In addition to his duties as the Director of HULC, he served on the Senate and Decanal Committees at Western and also on the SJHC Foundation and Hospital Boards. At the time of his death, Jim was the Western Chair/Chief of Orthopaedics and the Site Chief of Surgery at SJHC. For all his accomplishments, Jim received the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Prix d"Excellence in 2007.
Jim leaves a legacy of excellence in clinical care, teaching, research and academic administration. He was long-time married to his wife Barbara and a proud father to four fiercely independent and successful daughters. His two grandchildren gave him immeasurable pleasure.
Jim was the epitomy of success in his personal, athletic and academic pursuits. Jim will be missed and HULC will carry on his legacy. As a tribute to his contributions, HULC has been renamed in honour of the founding members of the Unit. Henceforth, HULC will be known as the Roth | McFarlane Hand and Upper Limb Centre. A dedication video can be viewed here.
Jim jokes around with "his" team at the occasion of his Prix d"Excellence.