Royal Vic

Royal Vic: The Story of Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital, 1894-1994

NEVILLE TERRY
Copyright Date: 1994
Pages: 288
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zzk5
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  • Book Info
    Royal Vic
    Book Description:

    Neville Terry traces the history of the hospital from its founding by Lord Strathcona (Donald Smith) and Lord Mount Stephen (George Stephen) to its present position as a world-renowned health care and research facility. Focusing on the people whose efforts contributed to the Royal Vic's success - physicians, surgeons, nurses, administrators, support staff, researchers, and volunteers - the author recounts their trials and triumphs in bringing about medical, social, and fiscal change in the health care field. The final chapter documents the Royal Vic's achievements in medical research.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6460-2
    Subjects: Health Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. [Illustration]
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. FOREWORD
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Lord Strathcona

    IT IS WITH MUCH PLEASURE — and some family pride — that I introduce the centennial story of the Royal Victoria Hospital. After all, this great Montreal landmark and centre of healing owes its beginnings to three members of my family. It is generally known that one of my great-grandfathers, Donald Smith, and his blood cousin George Stephen (who later became Lord Mount Stephen), together put up the money to build and endow the Hospital. What is not so widely recognized, however, is the important part played by my other great-grandfather, Robert Palmer Howard.

    Way back in the 1880s, when Smith and...

  5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-2)
    N.T.
  6. CHAPTER 1 FOUNDING FATHERS
    (pp. 3-20)

    MONTREAL’S ROYAL VICTORIA HOSPITAL was formally opened on Saturday, 2 December 1893. The day had dawned cold and grey, with only occasional flurries to portend the heavy winter storm that next day would bring the entire city to a standstill.

    Invitations for the opening had been issued for half past two o’clock, but by midday many citizens could be seen climbing the steep wooden sidewalk of University Street, bent on inspecting their splendid new Hospital. Curious sightseers streamed through the lofty entrance hall, up the wide staircase, and past the marble bust of Queen Victoria. They crowded along corridors to...

  7. CHAPTER 2 SCOTTISH BARONIAL
    (pp. 21-40)

    ON TUESDAY, 5 DECEMBER 1893, a lengthy letter appeared in the MontrealDaily Starover the name of James R. Rhind, “Assistant Architect.”

    SIR — At the opening of the Royal Victoria Hospital on Saturday, I heard a number of people remark that they could not tell where they were, and that they were absolutely lost in the building.This was not strange when you consider the extent of the buildings and the many and various departments into which an hospital is divided.

    Mr. Rhind goes on to spell out and describe, with admirable clarity, the forty-odd different departments contained within the...

  8. CHAPTER 3 YEARS OF GROWTH
    (pp. 41-70)

    WHEN IT OPENED IN 1893 The Royal Victoria Hospital consisted of three buildings clustered close together on the side of Mount Royal. The main Administration Block and its Medical and Surgical Wings stood separately, joined only by covered bridges. At a time when interior structures consisted mostly of flammable timber, this was a safety measure against the possible spread of fire. It was a precaution that would prove its worth in years to come.

    By the year 1993 the Royal Vic had expanded and spread out in all directions (Fig. 17). Its total floor space in 1893 was 180,000 square...

  9. CHAPTER 4 THE DOCTORS
    (pp. 71-146)

    FOR THE PAST HUNDRED YEARS Untold thousands of people have been cooperating with each other to bring aid and comfort to the sick and suffering at the Royal Victoria Hospital. These care-givers are of many kinds and callings - doctors, scientists, nurses, physiotherapists, dietiticians, pharmacists, technicians, book-keepers, orderlies, maids, cooks, laundry workers — to name only some of them. But at the heart of the Hospital’s multifarious activities are the doctors — the physicians and surgeons entrusted with the responsibility for treatment and care of all patients.

    The year the Royal Vic opened its doors, fourteen doctors treated 1,570 admissions. Nowadays, a...

  10. CHAPTER 5 THE NURSES
    (pp. 147-176)

    THE HISTORY OF THE ROYAL VICTORIA HOSPITAL reflects countless vivid contrasts between old and new. It highlights striking differences between the simple (sometimes crude) health care services of the last century and the advanced sociomedical care and attention available to us all today.

    Nowhere are these historical contrasts more vividly illustrated than in the story of the Hospital’s Nursing Staff. It is a story that can best be told by looking at the eight dedicated women who have successively borne responsibility for the Royal Vic’s Nursing Services over the past hundred years.

    The early years were marked by constant struggles...

  11. CHAPTER 6 ADMINISTRATION AND SUPPORTING STAFF
    (pp. 177-216)

    DAY AND NIGHT, for nearly a hundred years without cease, people have been making their way to work at the Royal Victoria Hospital. In the early days almost all of them approached on foot, for the only public transport in Montreal was a horse-drawn tramway that plied along St Catherine Street and up the Main (St Lawrence Street). Thus for years, rain or shine, sleet or snow, employees would climb the steep wooden sidewalk of University Street, or plod along the unpaved roadway of Pine Avenue to reach their place of work high on the Mountain.

    Back in those early...

  12. CHAPTER 7 “THE GREATEST OF THESE IS CHARITY”
    (pp. 217-234)

    THE ROYAL VICTORIA HOSPITAL has always depended on charity. For close on a century it stayed solvent and financed its expansion on monies donated by well-wishers. Before the days of medicare, revenue collected from patients rarely provided more than a tenth of the Hospital’s running expenses — let alone the cost of new buildings and equipment.

    Indeed, the Royal Vic came into being as an act of charity. As its first president, R.B. Angus, declared on opening day, “The hospital owes its existence to the munificence of two citizens of Montreal, Sir George Stephen and Sir Donald Smith. In the year...

  13. CHAPTER 8 FROM BENCH TO BEDSIDE
    (pp. 235-266)

    IN EARLIER CHAPTERS we have considered a number of reasons for the Hospital’s phenomenal growth in size and activity. Foremost among them was the twentieth-century explosion in medical knowledge and technology. Indeed, in the Royal Victoria Hospital’s hundred years of existence there have been more worldwide advances in techniques for diagnosing and treating human ailments than in the whole of previous history.

    These advances would not have been possible without the innumerable research projects pioneered by physicians, surgeons, scientists, and health-care professionals the world over. A significant number of them, as we shall learn in this chapter, were researched and...

  14. CHAPTER 9 WHITHER NOW?
    (pp. 267-268)

    THE STORY OF THE ROYAL VIC is steeped in change. The Hospital saga spans a century that has seen almost unbelievable advances in medical know-how. It has also seen a costly and openended proliferation of health care services that have become freely available to every Canadian from cradle to grave.

    The chapters of this book bear ample witness to the impact of this scientific and social revolution. We have learned, for example, that:

    In the 1890s around 150 people — doctors, nurses and supporting staff — were housed in buildings that covered roughly 180,000 square feet of floor space. Today, more than...

  15. INDEX
    (pp. 269-276)
  16. SOURCES
    (pp. 277-277)