Ronald Melzack, 90, in Dec. (Canadian psychologist, "his work revolutionized pain management")
(too old to reply)
2020-01-03 00:01:04 UTC
He lived in Montreal.


Posted by Nick Ng | Dec 24, 2019

First paragraphs:

Going beyond muscles, bones, and joints, Dr. Ronald Melzack paved a path to a more complex yet holistic way of understanding pain, leading to a gentler approach to treating patients.

Famed psychologist and pain researcher Ronald Melzack died on Sunday, December 22, 2019, in Montréal. His work had revolutionized how clinicians and patients understand pain and modern pain research, which had impacted every field of medicine in the last half of the twentieth century. His work revolutionized pain management and pain education, like what Albert Einstein did with physics, as a documentary mentioned. He was 90.

His death was announced on Twitter by the Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain at McGill University, the same institution where Dr. Melzack earned his PhD in 1954 with Dr. Donald O. Hebb as his research adviser. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Born in 1929 in a Jewish-dominant community in Montréal, Quebec, Dr. Melzack was born to a working class family and had two older brothers, Jack and Louis. His parents could afford to sent him to a university while his brother worked at his family’s bookstore, which later became the chain “Classic Bookshops.”

After he graduated from McGill University, Dr. Melzack began to treat patients who experience phantom-limb pain. His observations and interviews with patients led him to develop the McGill Pain Questionnaire, which is now used in hospitals and clinics worldwide...


(first page of an article for Scientific American: "The Tragedy of Needless Pain")

(book covers)

(two Kirkus reviews)





The Day Tuk Became a Hunter and Other Eskimo Stories (retold), Dodd, 1967.
Raven, Creator of the World (Eskimo legends retold), Little, Brown, 1970.
Why the Man in the Moon Is Happy, and Other Eskimo Creation Stories (retold), McClelland & Stewart, 1977.

Adult nonfiction:

(With P. D. Wall) The Puzzle of Pain, Penguin, 1973, revised edition published as The Challenge of Pain, Basic Books, 1983.
(Editor) Pain Measurement and Assessment, Raven Press, 1983.
(Editor with Wall) Textbook of Pain, Churchill Livingstone, 1984.
(Co-editor) Handbook of Pain Assessment, Guilford Press, 1992.

2020-01-13 22:20:38 UTC

"Ronald Melzack, Cartographer of Pain, Is Dead at 90: The theory that he and a colleague devised deepened medicine’s understanding of pain and how it is best measured and treated."

(That's the third time I've managed to scoop the NY Times by more than a week when it came to a real obit, not just a death notice.)

Also, from Jan. 7th:


"Tributes pour in for pain-research pioneer Ronald Melzack."

"Dr. Ron Melzack has done for pain research and pain management what Einstein did for physics." — Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

From the second half:

...Melzack was not a medical doctor but a psychologist who served as research director of the pain clinic from 1974 until his retirement in 2000. The clinic later became known as the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit of the McGill University Health Centre, still based at the General.

“If I can make a baseball analogy, normally when you publish a paper you hit a single,” added Mogil, who holds the Canada Research Chair in the genetics of pain. “Every so often, maybe once in your career, you’ll get lucky and you’ll hit a home run for a study that really gets a lot of interest and citations. Ron Melzack had two and possibly three home runs.”

Dr. Abraham Fuks, the former dean of medicine at McGill, recounted studying under Melzack in the university’s psychology department in the mid-1960s.

“He wasn’t arrogant or supercilious,” Fuks told the Montreal Gazette. “On the contrary, where the teachers were kind of conservative and grim-looking, Melzack was the opposite. He was this sunshine in front of the classroom. He taught with passion, with enthusiasm. He made you get excited and love the subject. I mean, that is the epitome of teaching, right?”

Steven Pinker, the renowned psychologist and linguist at Harvard University, recalled babysitting Melzack’s children when he lived in Montreal. In fact, Pinker was a neighbour of Melzack’s on Banstead.

“Ron was a great scientist — a pioneer in our understanding of pain — a great humanitarian, dedicated to the relief of human suffering, and an unpretentious, generous mensch,” Pinker wrote on the Melzack’s condolences page on the Paperman & Sons website...