Baxter Willis: Paediatrics, Research; Ottawa, ON.
Dr. Willis grew up in London , Ontario, the youngest of 3 brothers. He completed his Bachelor’s ( 1967 ) and Medical degrees ( 1971 ) at the University of Western Ontario ( now Western University ). Following a rotating internship at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, Baxter returned to London where he completed his orthopaedic residency training in 1976.
His career was influenced greatly by the mentorship of Robert Salter and many teachers at the Hospital for Sick Children where Baxter did a pediatric orthopaedic fellowship in 1977.
He returned to London in 1978 as the first full time pediatric orthopaedic surgeon and where he remained in academic practice until 1994. His colleagues in London remain close to his heart as some of the finest people with whom he has worked.
During his 16 years in London, Baxter became active in many committees of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, eventually becoming President of POSNA in 2007-08, a professional highlight.
In 1994, Baxter was recruited to New Orleans as the G. Dean MacEwen Chair in Pediatric Orthopaedics at Louisiana State University Health Centre, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at LSU and Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. While there, he helped develop the academic and educational program, training many fellows in the process.
In 2004, Baxter returned to Canada as the Chief of Surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario ( CHEO ) a position he held until 2015. He continued in an administrative capacity as Interim Chief of Pediatric Orthopaedics at the University of Ottawa and CHEO from 2015 until 2017.
Baxter has authored over 80 peer-reviewed articles and numerous book chapters. He serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics and the Journal of Children’s Orthopaedics.
He continues to practice part-time at CHEO and still loves his interaction with patients and their families. He enjoys teaching and education in all of its aspects, especially to residents and fellows. He is still actively involved in international outreach education in pediatric orthopaedics in Southeast Asia and South America.
Dr. Willis is married to his lovely wife, Sue, and has 3 children; Chris, Caroline and Andrew and 2 grandchildren; Magdalena and Frances.
Personal note: I have been blessed in my career. I was blessed to choose pediatric orthopaedics which became a professional passion and I have had the honour to work with incredible people in London, New Orleans and Ottawa.