Remembering Dr. James (Jim) Roth

We are deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Jim Roth who passed away February 1, 2013.

Dr. Jim RothDr. Roth has been an invaluable member of the St. Joseph’s family for more than 20 years. As the Medical Director and co-founder of St. Joseph’s Hand and Upper Limb Centre, and site chief of surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Jim has led the way in surgical innovation, research and teaching excellence at St. Joseph’s.

He was a great mentor, colleague and friend to many across our organization and far beyond.

Dr. Roth found his way to St. Joseph’s by way of the sports field. A top athlete, he played rugby and football in the early 1970’s for Western University, where the teams’ doctor became his mentor.

The doctor was orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Jack Kennedy, who would later co-found the Fowler Kennedy Sports Medicine Clinic. From Dr. Kennedy, Dr. Roth saw how he could combine a passion for sports with a rewarding profession.

Dr. Roth graduated from medical school in 1975 and completed an orthopaedic surgery residency at Western followed by fellowship training in hand and microsurgery at Duke University in North Carolina. He then returned to London to launch his practice. It would be the start of a career that would quite quickly grow to international prominence.

In 1992 he co-founded the Hand and Upper Limb Centre (HULC) at St. Joseph’s Hospital with fellow Western alumni Dr. Robert McFarlane. The largest centre of its kind in Canada, HULC has become world renowned as a centre specializing in the diagnosis, care and treatment of patients with complex conditions affecting the upper extremities including hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders.

Dr. Roth received numerous awards and authored more than 120 articles and 20 book chapters, yet he was always one to talk about his colleagues and staff rather than himself. “We have a team of physicians, staff and fellows who get along extremely well and who encourage and help each other. Everyone is focused on excellent patient care, teaching and research.”

Dr. Roth in surgery
above: Dr. Roth performing surgery at St. Joseph’s Hand and Upper Limb Centre

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