McGill Medicine

McGill Medicine: The First Half Century, 1829-1885

Copyright Date: 1996
Pages: 288
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  • Book Info
    McGill Medicine
    Book Description:

    Founded by four Scottish physicians, the McGill School of Medicine opened in 1829. Teaching style in the school followed the so-called Edinburgh tradition, which for decades emphasized anatomy and clinical observation and ignored progressive educational theory and scientific advances. Out of this conservative environment, however, emerged four remarkable young professors who would lead the reform that marked a new era in medicine at McGill. William Osler, Francis Shephard, Thomas Roddick, and George Ross introduced laboratory training to teach students the scientific method in a hands-on environment and to encourage them to develop a more sophisticated approach to clinical medicine and surgery.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6552-4
    Subjects: Health Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Illustrations
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Abberviations
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xix-xx)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. xxi-2)

    All truly great institutions owe their status to those who, having gone before, willingly made sacrifices for the future. Such were the founders of McGill who settled in an undeveloped country. They had faith in their ideals and were inspired to commit themselves to found a school to train physicians for Lower Canada. Students and staff alike struggled to accomplish the founders’ ideals. Poor academic preparation of staff as well as students, inadequate facilities, and terrible winter weather conditions did not discourage stalwarts of this calibre or impede the survival of the Faculty of Medicine. Had it not been for...

  8. 1 The Founding of McGill University and Its Faculty of Medicine
    (pp. 3-15)

    The story of McGill University began indirectly in 1801.¹ The Provincial Parliament of Quebec, bowing to mounting pressure from educational reformers such as Jacob Mountain, the first Anglican Bishop of Quebec, established the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning for the care of Protestant schools of royal foundation and institutions of higher education in the province. It was a paper concession designed to appease Mountain, James McGill² (fig. 1), and other Protestant leaders. Unpopular in the predominantly Catholic province, the Royal Institution was set up so that, if backed by the government, it could promote, supervise, and establish a...

  9. 2 The Faculty of Medicine, 1829-50: The Formative Years
    (pp. 16-35)

    After acceptance of the proposal of the Montreal Medical Institution by the Royal Institution to become a faculty of the college, it was decided to open as soon as possible to strengthen McGill’s position in its appeal for the endowment funds. The governors that the official opening would be on the afternoon of June 24, 1829 and that it would be duly advertised in the press. Invitations were sent to prominent citizens of the community and the meeting was held in the largest room of the Burnside estate of James McGill (fig. 9) in the northwest outskirts of the city...

  10. 3 The Faculty of Medicine: 1850–74: The Established Years
    (pp. 36-64)

    The pressure to move downtown increased after 1847. Professors Campbell, McCullough, and Sutherland, realizing that McGill had to move to compete, privately purchased a lot a few blocks from the Montreal General at 15 Cote Street in 1850, two blocks west of St Lawrence Street between St Antoine and La Gauchetiere² streets, and had a medical building constructed (fig. 20). The building was constructed for £1,200 and leased to McGill for £100 a year.³ Opened in 1851, it was the only way the Faculty of Medicine and McGill could remain viable because the Royal Institution still had no funds, (Unfortunately...

  11. 4 The Faculty of Medicine: 1874–85: The Osler Years
    (pp. 65-99)

    William Dawson had been preaching and promoting reform in the educational process for twenty two years. His direction was toward more practical and applied sciences and away from the theoretical and didactic trends of the time. Although not a physician, he recognized the great potential of the Faculty of Medicine in his plan for the university as a centre of higher education in the practical sciences. He supported the construction of the new medical building with adequate laboratory space for students and faculty. Despite the lack of faculty and equipment the commitment was obvious; the new building (fig. 33) opened...

  12. 5 Epilogue
    (pp. 100-102)

    The fundamental questions and challenges in medical education at McGil and in North American medical schools in the last quarter of the nineteenth century were philosophical and pedagogical. The major concern washowto teach efficiently what was known andhowto teach students to think scientifically.¹ The methods transferred from Edinburgh in the first half of the nineteenth century were no longer adequate. Academic authority and passive student involvement gradually became obsolete as the volume of medical knowledge increased and newer methods and tools of study became more available. This was accomplished by introducing students to laboratories constructed for...

  13. APPENDIX ONE Letters from the Secretary to the Registrar, 1834, 1835; Graduation Program, 1841
    (pp. 105-113)
  14. APPENDIX TWO Staff of the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University, 1829-85
    (pp. 114-116)
  15. APPENDIX THREE Graduates of the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University, 1833–85
    (pp. 117-130)
  16. APPENDIX FOUR Prize Winners and Medallists in the Faculty of Medicine, 1854-85
    (pp. 131-133)
  17. APPENDIX FIVE Examination for M.D., McGill College, Session 1854-55
    (pp. 134-142)
  18. Biographical Sketches of Selected Members of the McGill Medical Faculty, 1829–85 (IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER)
    (pp. 143-188)
  19. Notes
    (pp. 189-214)
  20. Index
    (pp. 215-219)