Dr. Duncan is Professor Emeritus of Orthopaedics at UBC, previous Academic Head of the UBC Department of Orthopaedics, and previous Clinical Head of Orthopaedics at Vancouver Acute Health Services (Vancouver General and University Hospitals).
He joined the UBC residency program in 1970 after arriving from Ireland. He also completed a Master’s degree (MSc Surgery) while a resident, won the annual Resident Prize for Research four years in a row (1972, ’73, ’74 and ’75), and was awarded the prestigious J Eduard Samson Prize for his research in 1975.
The same year he was awarded a Samuel McLaughlin Postgraduate Fellowship to support advanced training in complex hip reconstruction and musculoskeletal oncology in Toronto (Allan Gross), Boston (William Harris) and Gainesville, Florida (William Enneking).
He returned to Vancouver in 1977 and began a career in education, research, and patient care which spanned over 40 years. Dr. Duncan confined his practice to hip reconstruction after he established the Complex Joint Clinic at VGH in 1995 and averaged a surgical volume of 500 cases annually.
Dr. Duncan served as Director of Undergraduate Education, Director of Postgraduate Education (Residency Program), Division Head of Reconstructive Orthopaedics (Hip & Knee), and Program Director of Musculoskeletal Oncology. He was appointed as Head of the University and Hospital Departments of Orthopaedics in 1996.
He has received many Canadian awards in acknowledgement of his contributions from the University of British Columbia, the BC Medical Association, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, the Canadian Orthopaedic Association and other organizations.
He was honoured to serve as President of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association in 2001/02.
Dr. Duncan has been widely recognized abroad through various awards:
- Sir John Charnley Commemorative Gold Medal presented to him by Lady Charnley (Sir John’s widow) in 2009 after his Charnley Address to the British Orthopaedic Association
- William Harris Gold Medal on the occasion of his Harris Oration at Harvard Medical School in Boston in 2010
- Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Hip Society in 2016
Over the years of his practice and leadership, a few things stand out:
- Introduction of limb sparing management of musculoskeletal malignancy to BC in 1977
- Co-development of the bone bank and transplantation program at VGH in 1980 (since superseded) to facilitate limb salvage and complex joint reconstruction
- Development of important advances for the management of complications following joint replacement which are now part of mainstream orthopaedic practice (such as the PROSTALAC technique; the Vancouver Classification; and Unified Classification for periprosthetic fractures, to mention a few)
- Establishment of the internationally renowned UBC post graduate fellowship in hip and knee reconstruction
- Co-development of the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility (CHHM): a multidisciplinary research centre which now includes over 100 researchers, staff and trainees who work collaboratively to develop innovative solutions to enhance mobility and improve bone and joint health.
The work of Dr. Duncan and his collaborators has attracted significant national and international attention. He has been a visiting professor and/or keynote speaker on close to 350 occasions around the world, has delivered 675 guest lectures in 22 countries, and has published over 350 full length manuscripts as peer-reviewed papers, invited reviews or book chapters.
He is now based in West Vancouver where he lives, works as a consultant within the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, and supports his orthopaedic colleagues in the arthroplasty program at Lions Gate Hospital.
- MSc – University of British Columbia
- FRCSC – University of British Columbia
- MB BCh – University College Dublin