Dosman named to Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for agriculture efforts

The ‘father of agricultural medicine’ in Canada has spent decades on the health risks of farmers

A Saskatchewan researcher known as the ‘father of agricultural medicine in Canada’ has been named to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

Dr. Jim Dosman, of the University of Saskatchewan, was among six awarded the honour this year.

“A pioneer in his field, Jim has been devoted throughout his career to improving and protecting the health of agricultural workers in Canada and the world,” said Karen Chad, U of S vice-president research.

“He has been an outstanding leader at the forefront of agricultural health and safety efforts, policy, and research.”

Born in rural Saskatchewan, Dosman saw that farming can be a hazardous industry — for producers, workers, and their families. As a physician and specialist in respiratory medicine, he undertook foundational work on the effects of dust exposure among grain workers, which led to the establishment of a nationwide database supporting research and training.

He spearheaded international symposia that led to standards for dust exposure in the grain industry. He led the International Labour Organization’s effort to design an international code, Safety and Health in Agriculture (2011), bringing health-care standards to millions of farmers and agricultural workers worldwide.

Dosman is the founding director of the university’s Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture.

Founded in 1986, the centre conducts wide-ranging research such as farm injury, rural health, childhood asthma, dementia and chronic back pain studies. The centre includes the national agricultural industrial hygiene laboratory for studying high-risk exposures and health issues.

Dosman will be inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Montreal on May 2, 2019.

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