TORONTO – The director of the Ontario Medical Association is remembering a doctor who police allege was killed by her neurosurgeon husband as a talented family physician.
Police say 40-year-old Elana Fric-Shamji was reported missing Wednesday night, and her body was found by the side of a road in Vaughan, Ont., on Thursday afternoon.
Dr. Virginia Walley, president of the OMA, said in a written statement Saturday that Fric-Shamji was active in “many efforts to improve the health-care system.”
“I most recently spoke to her at our Fall Council, where she enthusiastically discussed her work to help advance the interests of physicians and their patients,” Walley said in the statement.
She said the OMA is making efforts to “properly memorialize” Fric-Shamji, and provide a way for her colleagues to help support her children.
Fric-Shamji worked at the Scarborough and Rouge Hospital in Toronto’s east end as a family doctor.
The hospital released a statement Saturday morning, saying that they are shocked and saddened by Fric-Shamji’s death, and are working to ensure her patients’ needs are met.
Fric-Shamji’s husband, Mohammed Shamji, is a neurosurgeon at Toronto Western Hospital and a faculty member at the University of Toronto.
The pair both had advanced degrees in addition to their medical qualifications. Fric-Shamji had a master’s degree in public policy from Duke University, according to a biography in research she published. Shamji has a PhD in biomedical engineering, also from Duke.
Det. Sgt. Steve Ryan said in a news conference Friday night that Fric-Shamji died of strangulation and blunt force trauma.
He said Shamji, 40, was arrested and charged Friday night at a coffee shop in Mississauga, Ont., just west of Toronto.
They had been married for 12 years and had three young children, Ryan said.
Shamji appeared in court Saturday morning, and local media reported that he was remanded in custody until Dec. 20.