In Memoriam: Dr. Wolfgang Jilek, Clinical Professor Emeritus


We are very saddened to share the news that Dr. Wolfgang Jilek, Clinical Professor Emeritus, passed away on January 15, 2021.  Dr. Jilek joined the clinical faculty of the UBC Department of Psychiatry in 1974, where he was very active in teaching, supervision and mentorship until his retirement in 1995.

Dr. Jilek was a renowned and highly respected figure in the field of comparative cultural psychiatry. Alongside his wife, Clinical Professor Emerita Dr. Louise Jilek-Aall, he conducted ethno-psychiatric investigations in East Africa, Haiti, South America, Thailand, Papua New Guinea and Western Canada, and published three books as well as over 100 articles and book chapters in English, French, Spanish and German.  He also gave numerous invited lectures at universities and institutes in North America, Europe, Asia, South Pacific and South America. Furthermore, Dr. Jilek was devoted to working with First Nations Mental Health, providing extensive psychiatric consultation to indigenous populations in the Fraser Valley and on the Pacific Northwest Coast over the course of his career.

Dr. Jilek was born in Austria on November 25, 1930, and obtained his medical degree from the University of Innsbruck in 1954. He went on to obtain two additional Master’s degrees — a M.Sc. in Social Psychiatry from McGill University and an M.A. in Social Anthropology from UBC. Dr. Jilek is survived by his wife, his daughter, and many nieces and nephews, to whom we send our deepest condolences.

If you wish to send a message to Dr. Jilek’s family, please do so by visiting Dr. Jilek’s public memorial page here.