College of Medicine


Remote Presence Robotics Virtual Patient Care Remote Robotic Ultrasonography

Dr. Ivar Mendez is a Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of the Virtual Care and Remote Presence Robotics Programs.

Dr. Mendez received his MD and PhD in Anatomy from the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario where he also completed his post-graduate training in Neurosurgery. After completion of his neurosurgical residency, Dr. Mendez was awarded the Resident Research Prize by the American Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. His research Fellowship was done at the Department of Medical Cell Research, University of Lund, Sweden. From 2000 to 2012, Dr. Mendez was the Chairman and Founding Member of the Halifax Brain Repair Centre, the most comprehensive neuroscience research institute in Atlantic Canada. Dr. Mendez was the Head of the Division of Neurosurgery at Dalhousie University and the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax for more than a decade.  In 2013 Dr. Mendez moved to Saskatchewan and was the Fred H. Wigmore Professor and Provincial Head of Surgery at the University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Health Authority until December of 2022.

Dr. Mendez is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American College of Surgeons. As a Clinician/Scientist, Dr. Mendez’ research focus is on functional neurosurgery, brain repair, stem cells, virtual care, and remote presence robotics. His laboratory research has been supported by peer-reviewed funding from several sources including the Canada National Centers of Excellence, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada Foundation for Innovation and Parkinson’s Disease Foundation of USA. He is recognized internationally as an expert in his field, having over 400 international and national presentations as well as over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications. For the past decade he has worked in the use of remote-presence robots for primary care, neurosurgery, and health care delivery to remote populations. In 2002, Dr. Mendez and his team performed the first long distance telementoring neurosurgery in the world and in 2013, he reported the first experience in remote programming for neuromodulation devices. Dr. Mendez was the President of the Canadian Neuromodulation Society (CNS) from 2009 – 2012 and under his leadership he promoted the access of neuromodulation therapy to all citizens of Canada.

Dr. Mendez has taken an active role in humanitarian and global health issues. He has been instrumental in establishing and equipping neurosurgical units in several developing countries. Through the Ivar Mendez International Foundation, he has instituted programs for school breakfast, dental care, and computer education in his native Bolivia. In 2010, Dr. Mendez was awarded a Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year Award and was named one of 10 most Influential Hispanic Canadians for his clinical research and humanitarian contributions. Dr. Mendez also received the Health Canada - 2011 Contribution to the Improvement of the Health of Canadians Award and The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. In 2014, St. Mary’s University in Nova Scotia awarded Dr. Mendez a Doctor of Science (honoris causa) degree for his contribution to Neuroscience and was inducted as a fellow into the Canadian Academy of Health Science (CAHS). In 2016, he received the Government of Canada Public Service Award of Excellence for the use of remote presence robotic technology to improve healthcare in the North and in Indigenous Communities. In 2022 Dr. Mendez was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada for his pioneering work in the use of remote telemedicine and robotics to revolutionize the delivery of health and patient care in Canada and worldwide.

Dr. Mendez is also a gifted photographer and sculptor. He has published four books of photography of Bolivia and has exhibited his sculptures in Bolivia, Canada, and the United States.

Selected Publications

Virtual Care & Remote Presence Robotics

Brain Repair