N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: May 12, 1969
Special Convocation: Diamond Jubilee convocation
Discipline / contribution: medicine ; public health
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate, I present to you Dr. David Mortimer Baltzan.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Dr. Baltzan was born in Bessarabia. His parents brought him to this province in 1905 when he and the province were very young. The family settled on a farm near Lipton, Sask, 5 years aater they moved to Saskatoon where Dr. Baltzan continued his education, proceeding to the medical school in the University of Alberta. His medical education was interrupted by World War I and duty in the Medical Corps. Resumption of medical studies was at McGill with graduation in 1920. Undergraduate practical experiene was gained in the Montreal General and the New York Lying-In Hospitals.
Dr. Baltzan returned to a clinical preceptorship in Saskatoon 1921-23, but the already strongly established trend to world travel let to further postgraduate studies in Edinburgh and London, England in 1926, Vienna in 1927, and at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore in 1928.
During the post war years Dr. Baltzan was differentiating into a specialist in the practice of Internal Medicine in this city. To date he has maintained an active association with all Saskatoon hospitals, especially St. Paul’s and with the College of Medicine. Currently he is Chief of Medical Staff at St. Paul’s and Clinical Professor of Medicine in the College of Medicine.
Dr. Baltzan is a Charter Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada (1931) and is a fellow or member of many American, British, and international medical societies. He holds Senior Life Memberships in the Canadian Medical Association and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan.
He has had broad interests in Medicine and beyond, as illustrated by his appointment as first clinic director fot the Saskatchewan Cancer Commission in 1932, and his service as a visiting consultant to the Saskatoon Sanatorium
The delivery of health care has been a concern of Dr. Baltzan for many years. He was co-founder of the first voluntary prepaid medical services plan in Western Canada. Subsequently in 1961 he was appointed to the Royal Commission on Health Services (often referred to as the Hall Commission). There followed several years of arduous sittings which have helped to provide the basis for a national medical care insurance plan.
Dr. Baltzan has a long list of publications ranging from medical articles to a text book in Medicine for nurses. These publications and papers presented at provincial, national and international meetings reflect the breadth of Dr. Baltzan’s interests in Medicine and allied fields, as well as his alertness to change.
As a medical pioneer, Dr. Baltzan introduced electrocardiography to this province and was co-developer of the first artificial kidney unit here.
Most people present today will be well aware of this man’s community and national efforts in the John Howard Society, United Appeal Fund, B’nai Brith and the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, to mention some.
He has been a benefactor of education with the establishment of a very valuable Canadiana section in the College of Medicine library and a scholarship at Nutana Collegiate.
Also of great significance in the life of this man has been his family. He shares with his wife, Rose Cristall Baltzan, 3 sons, actively engaged in medical practice in Saskatoon. They are Drs. Mark, Richard and Donald. The wives of these 3 sons complete the identification with the Health Sciences, with one a physician and the other two being Registered Nurses.
During the past 25 years, apart from many encounters in the airports of this continent, I have had the pleasure of being a next door neighbour to Dr. Baltzan, and for the first ten of those years a colleague with daily contact at St. Paul’s Hospital.
Therefore I deem it a very special privilege, Eminent Chancellor, to present to you Dr. David Mortimer Baltzan and ask that you will confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa
Degree presented by: D.F. Moore, Dean of Medicine
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