Ricky Kanee Schachter

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Ricky Kanee Schachter, FRCP(C), CM (December 23, 1918 – July 1, 2007) was a renowned dermatologist who practiced in the Toronto area, and was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada in 1998, as "a researcher, teacher, administrator and healer, whose work in the areas of skin cancer and psoriasis has improved the lives of her patients, and inspired fellow researchers across Canada."[1]

Her husband, Benjamin Schachter, was a Torontonian biochemist, working at the University of Toronto, who, from 1934–39, conducted research on female sex hormones. He isolated and identified conjugated oestrone sulphate (Premarin).[2] Her late brother, Sol Kanee, also received the Order of Canada for his work with the Bank of Canada and the Canadian Jewish Congress.[3]

Schachter grew up in Melville, Saskatchewan, at a time when women were not generally accepted as professionals in Canada. When she decided to go to university at the age of 16, to become a doctor, even her father, an educated Russian immigrant and community leader, said to her that she would "be taking up a space for a man."[4] Dr. Schachter graduated from the University of Toronto in 1943, and pursued post-graduate training in dermatology at Columbia University in New York. She began working at the Women's College Hospital, in Toronto in 1946 and became a Fellow of the Royal College, in Canada, in 1950. She was appointed Associate Professor at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine in 1961.[5]

In addition to being at the forefront of her field, and a pioneer in the treatment of psoriasis on an out-patient basis,[6] Schachter worked for the promotion of women's rights, Jews' rights, and for gender equality in the medical profession.[7] She was a devoted teacher and healer, and received numerous recognitions of her work. With her appointment in 1978 as the president of the Canadian Dermatological Association—the first female in Canada to lead specialists in her field. She was also the first woman to win the Canadian Dermatology Foundation's Practitioner of the Year award, in 2005,[6] and received an honorary Doctor of Laws, by Queen's University, in 2006.[8]

A chair in dermatology was established to honour her, and in 1985, the Dr. Rickey Kanee Schachter Dermatology Fund was established in recognition of her commitment to patient care. In July 1991, the Dr. Ricky Kanee Schachter Dermatology Centre opened its doors[9] at Women's College Hospital to treat a variety of skin conditions, through several out-patient clinics:

  • The Cosmetic Clinic and Cover FX
  • Cosmetic Procedures
  • The Dermatology Laser Centre
  • General Dermatology
  • Dermatology Minor Surgery
  • Mohs Clinic
  • The Pigmented Lesion Clinic


  1. ^ "Appointments to the Order of Canada". Governor General of Canada. 1998-01-22. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  2. ^ Xerox University Microfilms (1973). Comprehensive dissertation index, 1861-1972. Ann Arbor, MI. p. 999. ISBN 0-8357-0080-1.  Schachter, Benjamin; Guy Frederic Marrian (1936). "Observations on the Conjugated Oestrogens in the Urine of Pregnant Mares". Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. 35: 222–224. doi:10.3181/00379727-35-8916p.  Schachter, Benjamin; Guy Frederic Marrian (1938). "The Isolation of Estrone Sulfate from the Urine of Pregnant Mares". Journal of Biological Chemistry. 126 (2): 663–9. 
  3. ^ Elizabeth Lumley, ed. (2001-06-30). "Kanee, Sol". Canadian Who's Who. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 669. 
  4. ^ Virginia, Corner (2001-06-06). "Four "Rebels" Honoured for Challenging the Status Quo". York University Gazette. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  5. ^ Elizabeth Lumley, ed. (2001-06-30). "Schachter, Ricky Kanee". Canadian Who's Who. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 1147. 
  6. ^ a b "Press Releases: Dr. Ricky Schachter Honoured as Canadian Dermatology Foundation Practitioner of the Year 2005". Canadian Dermatology Foundation. 2005. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  7. ^ Bennett, Carolyn (2007-07-03). "Dr Ricki [sic.]... she'll always be with us...... prodding us to do better..." Carolyn Bennett, MP. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  8. ^ "Honorary Degrees - Fall Convocation 2006" (PDF). Queen's University. 2006. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  9. ^ "About the new WCH". Women's College Hospital Foundation. Retrieved 2009-08-02.