Dr Bruce Fleming passed away on 18 July 2022 surrounded by his loving wife, Elizabeth Fleming; children, Andrew, Julia, and Kate Fleming; and daughter- and sons-in-law, Stephanie Schneider, Tim Jourdain, and Ehren Salazar. With Bruce’s passing, British Columbia lost a brilliant medical educator, visionary administrator, and superb emergency physician.
Bruce obtained undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of British Columbia. Following graduation he completed a 2-year internship in Napier, New Zealand, where he perfected his medical craft while caring for the underserved. As planned, Bruce returned home to his beloved Vancouver, where he specialized in both family and emergency medicine. A gifted physician and educator, Bruce became a role model for multiple generations of physicians, receiving outstanding teacher and outstanding clinical teacher awards from fourth-year medical students and residents in emergency medicine at UBC.
As associate dean for student affairs at UBC from 1999 to 2007, Bruce spearheaded expansion of student services to all four provincial training sites. This groundbreaking work was successful because of his unique skills, which included common sense, hard work, charm, and honesty. In 2011 he became associate dean of admissions, where he directed MD undergraduate selection. In this role he brought integrity and transparency to the process of selection, elevating the priority for admission of Indigenous people. Bruce was greatly admired by his peers, and he received the Silver Anniversary Award at the recommendation of his UBC classmates for lifetime career accomplishments. In addition to his academic achievements, Bruce was a passionate ukulele picker and was talented at soccer, basketball, and water sports. He loved participating in athletic adventures with friends—it was always about elevating others and never about his own achievement.
Bruce was much more than the sum of his accomplishments—so much more. He was an extraordinary husband, father, grandfather (Cohen, Wallis, Ethan, and Lucas), and friend, whose spirit of warmth and empathy brought joy to many. Once you entered Bruce’s circle you were an esteemed partner for life, and his loyalty and generosity were unparalleled. He traveled the world both for the university and for pleasure, and my trips with Bruce and his wife Liz remain among the most special moments in my life. That is what it was like to know Bruce Fleming, a man with extraordinary talent and extraordinary decency who made the world a better place.
—Bruce L. Miller, MD
San Francisco, CA
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