Duncan Sinclair is an internationally recognized leader in health care reform. He has been a trusted advisor and counsellor to students, faculty, alumni, principals, premiers and prime ministers, all of whom hold him in the highest of esteem. The first non-MD to be Dean of Medicine in Canada, Dr. Sinclair led the creation of North America’s first alternative funding program for academic medicine, viewed as a gold standard in Canada for academic physician compensation.
He was born in Rochester, New York and received a DVM from the Ontario Veterinary College, an MSc from the University of Toronto and a PhD in physiology from Queen's University. From 1963 to 1965, he pursued post-doctoral medical research at St John's College, Cambridge. From 1974 to 1983, Sinclair was dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Queen's. He later served as vice-principal of Institutional Relations, vice-principal of services, vice-principal of Health Sciences and dean of the Faculty of Medicine. Sinclair was the first non-medical doctor to be chosen as head of a faculty of medicine in Canada. He retired from Queen's in 1996 but continues to be a guest lecturer at the University. In 1997, Queen's established the Dr. Duncan G. Sinclair Lectureship in Health Services and Policy Research.
In 1989, he was named an honorary fellow in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2015 and was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2020.
Sinclair was chair of the Ontario Health Services Restructuring Commission and founding chair of Canada Health Infoway. He also served on the steering committee for the review by the Ontario Ministry of Health of the Public Hospitals Act.