It is with great sadness that the Department of Family Medicine shares the news of the passing of Pierre Pluye, MD, PhD, Full Professor, who passed away in Montreal on August 1, 2023.

Born in Ardèche, France, in 1962, Dr. Pluye completed both his medical school and residency at Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse. In the 1990s, he worked as a family doctor in rural communities in the southwest of France and in pediatric settings on Reunion Island. He also worked with the humanitarian organization “Doctors of the World” in France, the former Yugoslavia, Haiti, Romania and Somalia, where he coordinated public health programs, including an international epidemiological study on maternal health. 

In 1994, Dr. Pluye pursued graduate studies at Université de Montréal earning a Master’s degree in Public Health and then his PhD in Health Promotion. In 2002 he joined McGill University as a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Social Sciences of Medicine where he began to develop his world-renowned expertise in mixed methods research, integrating quantitative and qualitative methods as well as primary research and mixed literature reviews. 

In 2005, Dr. Pluye joined the Department of Family Medicine as an Assistant Professor, becoming Full Professor in 2015. Dr. Pluye had a remarkable research career: He received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS); in 2017 he became an elected member of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences; and he was a founding member and the first director of the McGill Practice Based Research Network and of the Method Development component of the Quebec SPOR SUPPORT Unit in 2011 and 2015, respectively. In 2017, he received the ‘Researcher of the Year Award’ from the College of Family Physicians of Canada. 

Alongside teaching and research, Dr. Pluye produced more than 200 articles, reports and books in the field of information, participatory research and mixed methods. He is among the 30 most cited Canadian researchers in the field of primary health care. His studies aimed to assess and improve outcomes of web-based health information including outcomes on clinicians, managers, patients and the public (health and well-being outcomes). He also co-authored the book Look It Up! What Patients, Doctors, Nurses and Pharmacists Need to Know about the Internet and Primary Health Care, published in 2017 by McGill- Queen’s University Press. 

Dr. Pluye was a teacher greatly appreciated by his students for his dedication, his approachability, and the richness of his discussions. He supervised and co-supervised close to 30 graduate students and mentored many others. He was one of the founding members of Méthodes mixtes francophonie, a thriving research community in the teaching of mixed methods at the graduate level in Quebec. Several years ago, the McGill Family Medicine Education Research Group launched an annual award, in Dr. Pluye’s name, to honour his contributions and elevate the work of promising new researchers around the world. In 2021, he received the “NAGS Doctoral Teaching Award” (Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools – Canada and United States) which rewards the excellence and creativity of doctoral education, and innovation in higher education. 

Among all his academic successes, Dr. Pluye will principally be remembered for his pioneering work in mixed methods research, having contributed to critical advances in this field. His leadership, sense of humor, mentorship and constructive comments, which he endearingly referred to as “my five cents”, will be sorely missed. We will continue to carry forward his legacy by celebrating the tremendous contributions he made to our Department, the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and the broader academic community. We take solace in knowing his work will continue to inspire us and have an impact for generations to come. 

We extend our heartfelt condolences to Dr. Pluye’s wife, children, as well as to his extended family, friends, colleagues and all those whose lives he touched. He will be greatly missed. 


Marion Dove
Chair, Department of Family Medicine