Family, Travel and Community Medicine

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Dr. Robert Wittes, MD, MSc, CCFP, FRCP, CTH


I am a father of 2 daughters, aged 12 and 9, and have been a medical doctor working in research, public health, family practice, and travel medicine since 1979.

I'm listed with the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Ontario, the College of Family Physicians of Canada,  and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. In addition:

  • I am certified in Family Medicine, Community Medicine (Public Health), and Travel Health.
  • I did a Fellowship at the US Centers for Disease Control in the Division of Parasitic Diseases. There, I did research on schistosomiasis (also known as bilharzia), so prevalent in South America, Asia, and Africa.

  • I was Chief of Tropical Health and Quarantine for Health Canada. There, I initiated the first Canadian clinical trial of the anti-malarial drug Mefloquine (Lariam) for use by Canadian travellers.

  • For a decade, I was Medical Director at Connaught Laboratories (now Aventis), the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. There, I directed clinical trials involving many travel vaccines. (I was also instrumental in getting the bacteria BCG licensed as a treatment for bladder cancer).

  •  I have done cancer research in the specialized area known as “immunotherapy,” using bacteria to try to stimulate the patient’s own immune system to recognize and fight the cancer.

  • I have been on staff in the Tropical Disease Clinics of the Montreal General Hospital, the Ottawa Civic Hospital, and the Toronto General Hospital.

  • I have been on staff in Uro-Oncology at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.
  • I have held Faculty appointments at the University of Toronto, the University of Ottawa, and McGill University.
  • Throughout a career involving much research and public health practice, I have nevertheless always maintained a clinical practice in both Family Medicine and in Travel/Tropical medicine.
  • I currently have active admitting privileges in Family Medicine at York Central Hospital in Richmond Hill, where I serve on the hospital's Ethics Board.





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