In Memory of Dr. Peter Dent

In memory of Dr. Peter Boris DENT, Class of 6T0

by Dr. Don Butt, Class of 6T0

 Dr. Peter Dent, at age 85, on September 23, 2021, in Hamilton

It is with sadness that we report the passing of our beloved classmate Peter Dent. After a long battle with cancer, he died peacefully and surrounded by his family. Our sincere condolences go out to his wife, Diane, and their three daughters and families.

Peter was born on May 16, 1936, in Prague, in what is now the Czech Republic. He was raised in Toronto where he attended public school with Jim MacDougall. Later, Peter and Jim were in Medicine’s Class of 6T0 together, and they remained lifelong friends.

Following graduation in medicine, Peter went on to achieve his dream of becoming a pediatrician. On the way, he met the love of his life, Diane, a pediatric nurse.

After fulfilling a Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship in immunology, 1964 to 1968, he was appointed a clinical scientist at McMaster Medical School. Peter focused on the undeveloped field of cancer immunology and pediatric rheumatology, and created Canada’s first multidisciplinary program in immunology and virology.

As Chair of McMaster’s Department of Pediatrics from 1980 to 1990, he founded what is now known as McMaster’s Children Hospital. Peter also initiated a web-based information sharing platform that specialists around the world used and praised.

In addition, Peter was the Medical Editor of the Pediatric Rheumatology subsection of the American College of Pediatrics. He was also active in negotiating funding for academic physicians with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Peter’s contributions have been recognized by his induction into the McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences’ Community of Distinction, and his induction into the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction. In 2017, he was named a Member of the Order of Canada. (He was one of three Order of Canada members on the Class of 6T0’s Reunion Organizing Committee.)

Peter was the Editor of the 6T0 Class medical magazine and later, he volunteered to develop a class “booklet” for the class reunions. In this highly anticipated document, classmates shared news of their careers and activities.

When Peter became ill and unable to continue working on the booklet, I took it over. In his memory, I am renaming it “The Peter Dent Memorial Class of 6T0 Booklet.”

Peter had a rich life that contributed to making countless lives better. He will be long remembered. Family's memorial

Medical Alumni Association

of the University of Toronto
The MAA is an independent association funded by U of T MD alumni, working in partnership with the Temerty Faculty of Medicine. 

The MAA provides financial assistance to medical students and connects alumni.
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