Fry is celebrated in Canada for promoting medicine and
popularising health issues through politics and the
mass media. Most Canadians today know her as a
politician, but she dedicated many years practising as
a family doctor and improving conditions for medical
professionals and patients. In her practice as a family
doctor, she delivered over 800 babies.
was born on 6th August, 1941 in San Fernando, Trinidad.
She attended San Fernando Government School and St.
Joseph’s Convent. She won an Island Scholarship in
English Literature to Oxford University but became
interested in medicine while reading a reference book
that described many of Shakespeare’s tragic heroes as
having psychiatric problems.
parents sacrificed financially to send her to the Royal
College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland. She earned the
equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in science in one
year and completed her medical studies with honours,
winning a silver medal in applied physiology.
Dr Fry immigrated to Canada where she practised family
medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver for 23 years
and held positions in various medical bodies. As
President of the Vancouver Medical Association and the
British Columbia Medical Association, she initiated
Canada’s first retirement plan for doctors. She lobbied
with the Federation of Medical Women of Canada (FMWC)
for paid pregnancy leave for female doctors. As a
result of her activism, the Federation also introduced
flexible times and shared residency for demanding
practices such as surgery, to allow female doctors more
leader in the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), Dr
Fry spearheaded the recommendation for
self-determination and self-government for aboriginal
peoples in order to improve their health status. She
represented the Association in the United States and
dealt with issues of healthcare financing and delivery.
Dr Fry also lobbied to have the government pay more
attention to the impact of global warming,
environmental issues, mandatory seatbelt and helmet
laws, and mandatory physical education in schools.
participated in the CBC “Doctor Doctor” television
series from 1985 to 1988. The series educated viewers
about general health, common diseases, and health
issues such as child obesity, nutrition, pregnancy and
the effects of alcohol, and maternal care. The series
was so successful that it was rerun for three years.
was editor of the FMWC newsletter and a member of the
Medical Post editorial board. She served as Chair of
the Obstetrics Committee of the CMA. She was recognised
as a Dr Hirsh Rosenfield Distinguished Lecturer in
Family Medicine at McGill University in 1994, and was
named the Primus Inter Pares by the Vancouver Medical
Association in 1995.
served in the Federal Government’s Cabinet as Minister
of State for Multiculturalism & Status of Women for six
years, as a Member of the Standing Committee on Health
in 1994 and 2002, as Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister of Health between 1993 and 1996, and as
Parliamentary Secretary for Human Resource Development
& Immigration for 2004-2005. Hedy Fry is currently in
her sixth term as a Member of Parilament and as been
the Opposition Critic for Sport and the 2010 Games,
Opposition Critic for Heritage and is currently the
Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on the Status of
Fry’s aspiration is to continue influencing the
Government of Canada to improve the lives of all
Canadians. Her advice to young students is that “life
should be about finding your talent and pursuing it;
you must leave the world knowing you made it a better
1-Latin for First Among Equals- a
title indicating leadership or seniority among
individuals who are technically equal in rank