Dr. Jeffery Hurwitz

Dr Jeff Hurwitz passed away at Mount Sinai Hospital on February 4, 2022, surrounded by his loving family.

After completing his medical school at U of T and interning at St Michael’s Hospital, Jeff’s love of travel took him to Jamaica where he was House Officer in General Surgery at the University of West Indies and then to the University of Cape Town in South Africa where he was a Registrar in Cardiac Surgery, working with Dr. Christiaan Barnard and then to Witwatersrand University as a Registrar in Ophthalmology.

Finding his passion, he returned to Toronto to complete his residency in Ophthalmology followed by a fellowship in lacrimal and orbital surgery at Moorfield’s in London.   Jeff was on faculty at Mount Sinai hospital and the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the University of Toronto since 1975.  He was Ophthalmologist-in -Chief at Mount Sinai Hospital for 31 years, from 1986-2017 (the longest serving Chief in the history of Mt. Sinai).  He was Chair of Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences from 2001-2012 and Vice Chair of Global Health until 2017.  Dr. Hurwitz was also President of the Association of Canadian University Professors of Ophthalmology and Chief of Oculoplastics at the University of Toronto from 1986-2013.

He has been recognized by many awards including the Lester Jones Award from the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the American Academy of Ophthalmology but most important to him were the awards presented to him by his residents and trainees for excellence in medical and surgical teaching, he received eight such awards over his career, including the Silver Needle Award several times.  The compassionate and excellent care he provided to his patients was a wonderful model for all his students.  In 2012, he was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the OMA section of Ophthalmology.

Jeff’s passion for teaching and helping others knew no bounds and he guided and taught two generations of residents and young surgeons not only in Toronto but from all over the world.  Jeff’s kindness, humility and love created such strong bonds with his students who truly loved him and found a great friend and father figure in him.  His passion and joi de vivre was felt not only by his friends and colleagues but by everybody he encountered, from his fellow ophthalmologists to the cleaning staff, all who loved him dearly.

Jeff loved his family dearly and couldn’t have been more proud of them.   From Evelyn, his spouse of 40 years to his children Cary, Michael and Gillian, there was never enough time to regale with stories of accomplishments and shared joys and family times.

Jeff was an accomplished athlete, loving basketball, golf, tennis and squash amongst others and of course he played bass in the “World’s Greatest Garage Band”.

Jeff was a true gentleman; kind, loving, genuine and always had a good word and a smile for everyone.  He was a distinguished professor, leader and surgeon and a wonderful friend to all.  He will be sadly missed.