Dr. David Hogan | Geriatric specialist with a funny bone

Dr. David Hogan is looking forward to his well-deserved retirement – from his position as The Brenda Strafford Foundation Chair in Geriatric Medicine, anyway.

Author

Genevieve Juillet, Cumming School of Medicine

Dr. David Hogan is looking forward to his well-deserved retirement – from his position as The Brenda Strafford Foundation Chair in Geriatric Medicine, anyway. After holding the post for 25 years, David will be stepping down at the end of this month. “That chapter may be closing, but keeping busy won’t be a problem. I'm the academic lead of the Brenda Strafford Centre on Aging and have a number of other interests to keep me occupied.”

David originally chose a career in medicine based on logic rather than passion. “At the time, the three ways ’out’ for someone from a small Quebec town were becoming a lawyer, doctor, or priest. In high school, I picked medicine.” David’s choice has been a fortuitous decision, leading to a fulfilling career in geriatric medicine. His impact on the Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) has been immense; David founded the Division of Geriatric Medicine and, in 1992, was appointed the first Canadian university chair of the discipline.

When asked what drew him to geriatric medicine, David quotes Germaine Greer, who said, “No one ages like anyone else.”

“The patients, the complexity of the field and the problems faced is what keeps me on my toes,” David says. “This is a medical discipline where you can really make a difference.”

Outside of his work at the CSM, David spends his time with his wife Janet and their four children, Sarah, Dorey, Jennifer and Katherine – and now grandchildren. “They are my proudest achievement,” he says. Family connections are important to David; his grandfather, John Vincent Hogan, is a person he greatly admires. “He was one of the more than 100,000 poor or orphaned children sent from the United Kingdom to populate the British Empire who were often exploited as cheap labour and denied an education. They overcame so much.”

Despite having a busy career, David is known for his excellent sense of humour. “My personal motto is actually a quotation from Dame Margot Fonteyn: ‘The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous.’” Words to live by.

Tidbits from David

Most treasured possession: My memories.

Favourite book: I don’t think anything has topped reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time.

Hidden talent: The writing of limericks.

What the Cumming School of Medicine should do in the next 50 years: Plan for the Silver Tsunami!