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Frederick William Baker was born on January 31, 1932 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and as a youth, attended schools in Prince Albert as well as Victoria, British Columbia. Following graduation from high school he attended the University of Saskatchewan where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a certificate in Medicine by 1954. He received his M.D. from the University of Alberta in 1956.
Following his graduation from the University of Alberta he specialized in paediatrics at Winnipeg Children’s Hospital (1958-1960), the Medical Arts Clinic in Regina (1960-1961) and the Montreal Children’s Hospital (1961-1962). He received a Certificate in Paediatrics from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1962.
Dr. Baker’s career has involved both professional practice and academic and administrative experience. He obtained his first academic appointment in the mid 1960s when he accepted a clinical teaching appointment in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Saskatchewan (1963-1968). In the late 1960s and early 1970s he was both a faculty member in the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Paediatrics, Université de Sherbrooke, as well as a senior administrator at Cecil Butters Memorial Hospital (Austen, Quebec). At the Sherbrooke General Hospital he helped establish the paediatric department in the new medical school, becoming Chief of Paediatrics. From 1974 to 1987 he was on the faculty of the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon), serving in a number of administrative capacities. At the Regina campus he served as member of a number of committees relating to Education, Research and Finance, and helped to up-grade the paediatric training programs and develop specialty clinics.
This combination of practical, administrative and academic experience prepared him well for the ten years he would spend in Toronto, as Medical Director, Children’s Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto, as Professor in the Faculty of Medicine (Department of Paediatrics) and as Director of the Sioux Lookout Program. This latter program was established to provide medical and ancillary staff for the provision of care to Aboriginal people in the Sioux Lookout Zone of northwestern Ontario.
Throughout his career, Dr. Baker was also active in the Canadian Paediatric Society, serving as a member, President (1984-1985) and then as Chair of the Indian and Inuit Health Committee(1992-1997). He also served on committees of various organizations in Saskatchewan such as the Saskatoon Track and Field Club, Saskatchewan Council on Children and Youth, Advisory Committee on Child Safety for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health. In Ontario he was a member and then Chair of the Northern Ontario Committee (NOC) of the Council of Ontario Faculties of Medicine (COFM) (1989-1996).
Dr. Baker retired from the University of Toronto as Professor Emeritus in 1997. He lives in Calgary, Alberta.