From respect to commitment for today and tomorrow

Dr. Barrett Adams.

“When I was teaching at CHEO, students shared their stories, like the challenges they face in travelling to apply to residencies,” he says. “I feel for the students because it has changed a lot from when I was at school.”

It's been more than 60 years since Dr. Barrett Adams was tackling competitors on the uOttawa football field and studying to be a doctor.

After all these years, one would understand completely if he swapped his white coat for gardening gloves and a quiet life in the country. But instead, he is just as involved with his alma mater as ever.

“I look back on my medical training at the Faculty of Medicine with gratitude, as the reason I have achieved what I have,” he says, “and I feel it’s important to respect those who have helped you by giving back in the same way.”

Dr. Adams decided early on to specialize in the medical care of children, growing up surrounded by and caring for his younger siblings in Cornwall, Ontario. In addition to building his practice and a family of his own, he championed the creation of CHEO (The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario), convincing the community that the growing city of Ottawa needed a pediatric facility. He retired from his practice in 2015 at the age of 81.

"By supporting someone along the way, you hope that in turn they will do the same when they too are able," he says, "whether it’s sharing one’s own experiences, lending an ear or a pep talk, or any kind of support, really."

Now, Dr. Adams finds pleasure in helping build the dreams of young students. For over 30 years, he has been a loyal donor to the Faculty of Medicine, including through his own scholarship. Established in 1997, the Barrett Adams Scholarship for Pediatric Medicine helps uOttawa medical students in need who are interested in pursuing a career in pediatric medicine. It warms his heart, he says, when the students reach out to extend their gratitude.

Dr. Adams has also established a planned gift in order to perpetuate his fund and his impact on tomorrow’s leaders, including towards his beloved men’s football team, the Gee-Gee’s.

Back to top