Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
June 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


History of Medicine in Canada


[This article was published in 1948; for the precise citation, see the end of the text.]

The history of medicine begins with the history of life, at the moment when living tissue feels pain. There is therefore no race so primitive that it is without a medicine of some kind. Even animals have their own remedies. The occupation of Canada by Europeans who could read, write, and print is so recent that the record is singularly full and clear. They had a curiosity about the strange people amongst whom they were come, and were careful to relate all they observed of their customs, including their practice of medicine.


It will be convenient for the present purpose to divide the period in three: the Indian, the French, and the modern régime. No attempt will be made at a scientific appraisal or criticism of recent Canadian contributions in hospital and laboratory. Although large and important, medicine in Canada cannot be severed from the world history of modern medicine.




When Jacques Cartier landed in Canada, he was fortunate in finding a well-established profession and practice amongst the Indians. In some of the tribes there was a definite medical profession, set apart from the natural healers, faith-curers, herbalists, or charlatans, as we should say. This profession was open to men and women alike, and was known as the Grand Medicine Society. They held a convocation once a year with much formality. Candidates must give evidence that they were worthy aspirants, that they had paid their fees, that they had undergone a training during four years, that they had studied botany and pharmacology. The examination lasted several days, and was divided into four stages. The candidate passed several hours in a small sweat-room outside the main lodge, which he spent in solitary meditation. Then in presence of, his elders, he received the migis-shell, which conferred upon him the right to practise.


Apart from the element of mystery and magic, these physicians used decoctions of herbs, plasters, and diets. They understood the use of emetics, purgatives, and diuretics. They gave broths in fever. They were especially versed in hydrotherapy, giving cold water to the patient enclosed in a sweat-tent; and in physiotherapy, using local and general massage. They were familiar with the specific use of certain medicinal plants, using the roots and bark; and according to the Jesuit Relations (1636-65), they had a rude but somewhat efficient surgery. Indeed their medicine was superior to that which Françoys Guitault, the apothecary, brought from Europe as he accompanied Jacques Cartier on his first voyage. In the winter of 1535-6 passed at Quebec, 25 out of 110 men died, and all but three were helpless with scurvy. The Indian physicians came to their rescue, and by administering an infusion of spruce or hemlock buds and bark they restored all the living to health. The technical name of the remedy was annadda; the source was the tree of life; the name vitamin had not yet been invented, although the substance was familiar. These medicine men were the relentless foes of the missionaries: they feared for their monopoly.


It is little to the credit of Jacques Cartier that he did not inform subsequent voyageurs of the virtue of annadda. In 1542 Roberval lost 50 out of his 200 men; Champlain in 1604 lost 35 of his company on an island in the bay of Fundy, and four years later, 15 out of 27 in Quebec. Lescarbot affirms that the Acadian Indians were as ignorant of the treatment as the French were; but it was not observed that they suffered from this mal de terre.


The practice of these simple but sagacious people may well be contrasted with the system under which Charles II died in the very year of the Jesuit relation. The case-report will also serve as a contrast between ancient and modern medicine: With a cry he fell. Dr. King who, unfortunately, happened to be present bled him with a pocket-knife. Fourteen physicians were quickly in attendance. They bled him more thoroughly; they scarified and cupped him; they shaved and blistered his head; they gave him an emetic, a clyster, and two pills. During the next eight days they "threw in" 57 separate drugs; and, towards the end, a cordial containing 40 more. This availing nothing, they tried Goa stone, which was a calculus obtained from a species of Indian goat; and as a final remedy, the distillate of human skull. In the case report, it is recorded that the emetic and the purge worked so mightily well, it was a wonder the patient died; although one physician did protest that they would kill the king; and out of this arose the suspicion that he had been irregularly poisoned.




In the French régime, the first physicians to emerge are Louis Hébert and Daniel Hay, who arrived in Acadia with Champlain in 1604. The name of Hébert is yet preserved in "Bear" river, yet known to salmon fishers as the home of the most skilful Micmac guides. Nicholas Denys applied for a physician who was to be cook's helper, gardener, and purveyor of game; he was to have charge of the apprentices and mete out to them such chastisement as they deserved. In 1627, Robert Giffard arrived in Quebec. He was the first physician to the first hospital in New France, the Précieux Sang in Quebec. He was succeeded by Jean Madry, an important personage, for he was lieutenant and clerk of the barber to the king of France.


Above this casual class now arose Michel Sarrazin in 1685, a doctor of medicine from Paris. He became physician to all the hospitals in Quebec, a friend of intendants, governors, and bishops, a true scientist, and an operating surgeon. A plant still bears his name. A man of like quality was Jean François Gaulthier, appointed king's physician for Quebec in 1741, who was qualified in medicine and law. His name too is given to a plant, the gaultheria procumbens, or wintergreen.


In Montreal the first known surgeon is Louis Goudeau, whose name appears on a notarial deed in 1648. He was followed by Jean Pouppé, who confined the first white woman; and then by Étienne Bouchard, who set Jeanne Mance's arm, but overlooked a dislocation which was cured by other means.


In Montcalm's time, two army surgeons are worthy of note, Arnoux and Badelart. Montcalm praises the honesty and zeal of his cher petit Arnoux; but he considered Badelart un homme incorrigible. It was to the house of Arnoux Montcalm was carried with his fatal wound in the abdomen. Guy Carleton thought better of Badelart; he employed him to investigate the mal de Baie St. Paul , an epidemic of syphilis that broke out in 1773, and for many years devastated that region. After the cession, many army surgeons entered civil practice. Of these Adam Mabane is the best known, "an honest and just man" with sympathy for the French. He studied law and became a judge. He lived in some style at Sillery, and his house was used by the Americans as a hospital in their attempt upon Quebec. Latham, MacAuley, Oliva, and Bowman are other names


The epidemics that swept over the primitive community provide a ghastly record. The last was small-pox in Montreal in 1885, with 3,164 deaths. This disease first appeared in 1616, when it was known as the Indian plague. In 1702 one-fourth of the settlers in Quebec perished; in 1755 again there were 2,500 in hospital at one time. Of ship fever or typhus there were eleven outbreaks, the last being in 1847, when there were 10,657 deaths and 39,265 in hospital. At Grosse Ile, the present quarantine station, a monument records that 5,274 were buried there; a large boulder in Montreal is witness to 6,000 more. Cholera appeared in 1832, and claimed 8,651 victims; in the twenty following years there were four smaller epidemics.


The earlier pioneers were without physicians, but too much pity need not be expended upon them. They brought with them their own traditional medicine. They had midwives and women skilled in herbs; they had bone-setters who could pull a broken limb and fix it with rude splints; they had abundant alcohol and opium. In many places the presence of a doctor is yet merely part of the natural circumstances of dying.


A new element was brought in after the pioneer period, by the presence in the country, in the latter part of the eighteenth and the early years of the nineteenth century, of a number of highly qualified medical men carrying higher degrees, retired British army surgeons and others, who took an im­portant part in medical policy and education that culminated in the Medical Faculty of McGill University and the Rolph School of Medicine. Such were Drs. James Fisher, George Longmore, James Davidson, Anthony von Iffland, and François Blanchet in Quebec ; Charles Blake, Robert Sym, George Selby, Robert Jones, Henry Leodel, Jean Bte. Jobert, and Daniel Arnoldi in Montreal ; Jacques Labrie in St.Eustache; George Carter in Three-Rivers; Peter Diehl, James Macaulay, and others in Toronto. This period Dr. Abbott has made especially her own.




The modern period is ushered in by the appearance of medical schools, all of which in time became faculties of the universities. Of these universities there are now nineteen, and ten have medical faculties; but to graduate from the medical school of a university does not entitle a person to practise. He must obtain a licence from the province in which he is to reside, or from the Dominion Medical Council. This Council examines and registers, and issues a diploma which is good for a licence in any part of Canada and generally throughout the Empire; but the candidate must first have obtained from his own province an "enabling certificate", to the effect that he has complied with the rules for preliminary education. This Council was established by the Canada Medical Act in 1912; it holds examinations twice a year in various places; the registrar, Dr. J. Fenton Argue, has the central office in Ottawa. The fee is $75.


The hospital has become an integral part of the medical school. With hospitals Canada is well supplied. Thirty-three are approved by the Canadian and American Medical Associations for postgraduate study. The Canadian medical directory for 1934 contains a list of hospitals and the number of beds that covers 15 large pages. The total is not given, but by actual count the number of beds available for patients is 27,613 in the province of Quebec. In the other provinces there is a like proportion.



Formal medical education in Ontario had its origin at St. Thomas in the year 1824. It arose in the mind of John Rolph. There were twelve students at the first session, but the school lasted only two years. In 1831 Rolph went to live in Toronto, where he opened a private class. He became involved in the armed rebellion of 1837, when he was compelled to flee to the United States with a price upon his head. After six years he returned, and in 1844 established Rolph's School of Medicine, which afterwards became the Toronto School of Medicine, and finally the medical faculty of Victoria University .


In 1844, the medical faculty of King's College came into existence as a serious rival, but it was suppressed in 1852 by legislative action. In 1850 another rival arose, the Upper Canada Medical School, which in time became the medical faculty of Trinity College, but it too was short-lived, and in 1856 Rolph was dean of the only medical school in Ontario. But in the same year his staff deserted him. They secured possession of the charter; they combined with the disbanded members of King's College and Trinity, forming the To­ronto School of Medicine, which existed for thirty-one years, and was finally absorbed by the University of Toronto. In the meantime, Rolph obtained associates, and reorganized his school as the Victoria medical faculty, of which he remained dean until the year 1869, shortly before his death. He died at the age of eighty-three.


In all these transformations Rolph's was the guiding, manipulating, or compelling hand, for a period of fifty years. It was said of him: where Rolph was, medicine was taught; but Dr. Howell adds, there was also quarrelling and distrust; and Osler affirms that it took three generations to efface the trouble he had caused. One of his distinguished pupils was Frank Buller of Montreal, the first scientific ophthalmologist in America.


John Rolph came to Canada in 1821, equally qualified to practise law or medicine. He had been called to the English bar; he studied anatomy under Sir Astley Cooper, and was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. He did not disdain politics outside as well as inside the profession; he was elected member of parliament for Middlesex, and was a minister in the government, from which place he was powerful to bring political pressure to bear upon his rivals; and that power was increased rather than diminished by his part in the abortive rebellion of 1837. The violence and intolerance of the time in public and professional life was suitable to his temper, and he was not slow to avail himself of it.


As an example of his energy and also of his humanity, Dr. Howell cites the case of two men who were about to be hanged for the crime of stealing an ox. Rolph rode to Toronto, a distance of eighty miles over such roads as then existed to obtain a reprieve; but before leaving he arranged with Rev. John Ryerson to delay the execution by the device of a protracted prayer for the condemned. The clergyman prayed for an hour and a half, until the public, the sheriff, the hangman, and even the criminals were showing signs of exasperation; but Rolph arrived with the reprieve.


In every locality the history of medical education is inseparable from the history of the hospitals. Divorced from a hos­pital, a school is but a barren place. A school that gains control of a hospital can then destroy a rival school at its leisure. That is what happened to Rolph's enterprise in 1868, but poverty was the main cause.


In the War of 1812, a patriotic fund was obtained. In 1820 a residuum of £4,000 was left. It was spent in the erection of the York General Hospital, a two-storey red-brick building on the north-west corner of King and Yonge streets, removed to Gerrard street in 1856. The provincial government gave the land, and ten years later a yearly grant of £100 increased after three years to £500. In 1835, patients to the number of 530 were admitted, and 1,800 were treated in the dispensary. By 1849, the hospital had 80 beds, and the grant was £750. In 1868 it was compelled to close the doors, but it opened them the next year. Two benefactors with $16,000 appeared in 1875, and the money was used to replace the stoves by steam heating. In the last sixty years the stream of private and public benefactors has increased until to-day the Toronto General hospital has 1,168 beds.


During the early years the hospital was the storm centre of rival political parties, of rival schools, and of practitioners who were denied appointments in it. Even the students took a hand in the fray, and in 1856 instigated an enquiry. Certain abuses, common to many hospitals in those days, were discovered. There were no baths; nurses were coarse, ignorant, and addicted to drink; they consumed the alcohol prescribed for patients. To appease the practitioners, two from each of the rival schools were appointed, and two others who had no place on either faculty. The mortality rate continued high, but that was due in large measure to the epidemics that periodically ex­tended over the country.


The fiftieth session of the medical faculty of the University of Toronto has now passed. In 1934 there were 824 students in attendance, and 118 graduates.


In Kingston, medical education dates from 1834, when an advertisement appeared, that a medical academy would be opened by Mr. Colls, surgeon in the Royal Navy, under the auspices and patronage of the lieutenant-gover­nor, Sir John Colborne. The fee was to be £100, which was to include board, lodging, and washing, or £50 without these amenities; but Mr. Colls would teach the French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Dutch languages without further fee. Some eighteen months later he was the subject of a highly favourable obituary notice.


Dissension in Toronto was Kingston's opportunity. The closure of King's College left the students with the alternative of going to Trinity or to Rolph's school. They had reason to suspect that he by a political deal had instigated the bill by which their school was closed; and only Anglicans could obtain. a degree at Trinity. Eight students made a petition to Queen's, and a medical faculty at Kingston came into being. In six years the number rose to 97. There were no religious tests, although the seven members of the staff were compelled to signify their acceptance of the Old and New Testaments, and undertake to teach nothing contrary to the word contained therein.


Although they accepted the word, something of the spirit was lacking, and certain works of the flesh soon became manifest: hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, envyings. There was little of peace, gentleness, long-suffering, meekness. Foremost in this disorder was John Stewart, professor of anatomy and physiology, subjects he had studied in Edinburgh under Knox, the one who fell into disfavour by his purchase of bodies which Burke and Hare had murdered. He wore a Glengarry bonnet and a Stewart tartan plaid with Cairngorm brooch, a parade of nationality that was too obtrusive even for Kingston . He fought a duel with pistols; his adversary had for second a young lawyer, John A. Macdonald by name. In earlier days duels were frequent. Two obstetricians who disagreed over a difficult case fought a duel in Dundas . After four shots were exchanged, the seconds composed the dispute by persuading one principal to retract the epithets "liar" "coward", "scoundrel", on condition that the other should retract the terms "liar", "villain", "scoundrel", and "fool". John Sampson, professor of clinical medicine and surgery, an army surgeon, was a further cause of strife. He showed little respect for the people of Kingston, but in time he must have overcome his prejudices, for he lived there for forty years, was elected mayor, gained a large practice, and was the first physician to the General Hospital .


The school lasted only ten years. The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Kingston was incorporated as successor in 1866, but its power to grant licences was soon taken away; and not being a university it could not confer degrees. It affiliated with Queen's, and carried on medical education until 1892, when it became the medical faculty of Queen's University. The number of students in this faculty is now 296; the last graduating class had 44 members; the first year is limited to 50. The instructors are 56 in number. The General Hospital of 375 beds is controlled by the faculty. Other hospitals, especially the Hôtel Dieu, with 250 beds, are equally open to students.


The third medical school in Ontario is an integral part of the University of Western Ontario in London since 1913. The number of students in 1934 was 239; the fees are $200. The University recommends all appointments to the staff of the Victoria Hospital , which has 400 beds. Students have access also to the Children's Memorial Hospital of 75 beds, to the Bethesda Obstetrical Hospital with 75 beds. to the Ontario Hospital for the Insane with 1,325 patients, and to the Alexandra Sanatorium with 400 tubercular patients. The officers of instruction are 105 in number.


In Canada there has been only one medical school exclusively for women, the Ontario Medical College in Toronto, opened in 1883, reorganized in 1894, and closed in 1906. In that period, 237 students were enrolled; 128 graduated through various universities. The need for a special school passed when women were admitted to universities on equal terms with men. Their number at no time was large.


Long before there was any formal medical education in Ontario, a serious attempt was made to control the practice. One of the earliest legislative enactments was directed toward that end. The Act was repealed in 1806; another was passed in 1815, and it in turn was repealed. It was easy to forbid, but hard to provide a medical service for the, scattered and impoverished communities. In 1818 a Board was created to examine candidates. In the first year sixteen applicants were examined, and eight were rejected; in the following year only one out of six was accepted.


During and after the American revolutionary war, there was a large influx of settlers into Canada. They were accompanied by a few surgeons' mates who sought free land, and in their leisure from farming willingly practised such medicine as they knew. In the vicinity of the garrisons there were a few practitioners with some qualifications, but they would not go far afield to swim rivers and lose themselves in the woods. Quacks filled the void; but it must be admitted that the distinction between a quack and a licensee was not great. As late as 1815 there were only forty physicians with qualifications of any kind, but the status was improving. Between 1783 and 1850, of 260 medical men who practised in Ontario, 71 had been educated in Edinburgh, 43 in England , 28 in Ireland, and 40 in the United States. The names of Pitkin Gross, "Tiger" Dunlop , Elam Stimson, and Barker are frequently mentioned.



The Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning, which is yet the official designation of McGill University, was established by provincial statute in 1802. The intention was to found two non-sectarian universities, one in Quebec, one in Montreal, to be endowed with crown lands. In 1811 James McGill bequeathed £10,000 and his estate, whereon "McGill" now stands, to establish a college in the hypothetical university. In 1821 a royal charter was granted. There was litigation over the will. The bequest was about to lapse; there was as yet only a lofty name, no university, no teaching. To comply with the terms, the Royal Corporation besought the Montreal Medical Institution to become the first medical faculty. The bequest was saved. McGill University and Medical School were established, and so continue until this day.


The medical faculty arose out of the Montreal General Hospital. In 1821 the present central building was erected at a cost of £5,856. It provided 100 beds for a population of 20,000 persons. It was opened in May, 1822, although the charter was not obtained from the legislature until the following year. The grounds upon which the charter was sought were the treatment of the sick poor, the advancement of medical science, the teaching of medical students. It was opposed on the grounds that an addition to the existing Hotel Dieu would meet all needs, that instead of hirelings as nurses patients would have women devoted to the service of God, and that they would not be treated and made the subject of experiment by ignorant medical students. The protagonists were Dr. Caldwell, the secretary, who had been an army surgeon in the 13th Dragoons, and a member of the legislature, and these fought a duel with pistols. At the fifth discharge the one had his arm shattered; the other was shot through the chest; each one was treated in his own hospital; but as both recovered, the comparative merit of the two systems was left in a state of obscurity.


The prime movers, Holmes, Stephenson, Robertson, Caldwell, were all graduates of Edinburgh. Robertson also was an army surgeon, having served with the 49th and 41st regiments. With the old Hippocratic passion for teaching, they decided to open a medical school. On October 20, 1822, this expediency was proposed, and seven days later a series of resolutions was submitted, which gave a complete conspectus of the principles of medical education. They were approved by Lord Dalhousie, the governor, who willingly gave his support to so desirable an object. On February 4, 1823, the first public announcement was made of the delivery of lectures, and in the following autumn, classes were opened with twenty-five students. This was the first medical school in Canada. It was based upon the practice in Edinburgh ; and for the first time in America students had free access to hospital wards. The teaching was clinical. The course from the first was four years in duration, although a year as apprentice was allowed to count.


The first home of the medical institution was on Place d'Armes, near the present site of the Bank of Montreal; it had three removes before 1845, when it was installed in the newly created Arts building of McGill; but only on condition that the effluvium from the dissecting room should not disturb the deliberations of the governors. The removal to the university building was a mistake; it was too far away and inaccessible in winter. Students were leaving. In 1851, three members of the faculty erected a brick building, at No. 15 Coté street. The locality is mentioned for the sake of the few living graduates who yet speak of the profound learning and austere simplicity of that place. It began with a class of 64 students. At that time the number of students in Canada was 216, of whom 88 were in Toronto, and 128 in Montreal. The faculty returned to the university grounds in 1872, to occupy the first of the series of splendid buildings erected for them by the generosity of citizens.


McGill Medical School was not without English rivals. The first was the St. Lawrence in 1851, with a short career; and in 1871 Bishop's. These schools were of inestimable value to McGill. Young men with the gift of teaching obtained places in them. Men who showed quality were drawn to the larger school, which had nearly all the hospital appointments in its gift. By this process of selection, McGill was relieved of the risk that lies in appointing men without experience, and the burden of carrying the incapable. With the disappearance of rival schools, McGill has lost that advantage. More than half the faculty were drawn from Bishop's, which could not stand the loss; nor could it meet the insensate demand for laboratories and equipment that became so insistent thirty years ago. Bishop's was merged with McGill on terms that have not been adequately fulfilled.


McGill never lost control of the General Hospital. When the Royal Victoria was built and endowed by the munificence of Lord Strathcona and Lord Mountstephen, it secured control of that one too. The one contains 397 beds, the other 680. There are in addition the Nôtre Dame with 520, St. Luc with 172, Children's Memorial with 335, the Jewish, and many special hospitals. During 1935 the Neurological Institute was built at the cost of a million dollars, largely supplied by the Rockefeller fund.


The Hôtel Dieu de Montréal, the traditional ally of the French schools, is one of the best hospitals in Canada, as it is the oldest in America. It contains 300 beds. The hospital was opened on October 8, 1644, by La Compagnie de Montréal, commanded by a brave and pious soldier, Paul de Chomedy, Sieur de Maisonneuve. He landed, in May, 1641, accompanied by a new order of nursing nuns devoted to St. Joseph, led by Jeanne Mance and Madame de la Peltrie. Their devotion, the hardship they endured, and the dangers they escaped, their courage and patience make the modern romance of Christian chivalry.


The present [1948] session of McGill is the 102nd. The fee is, for British students, $275, for others $350. The instructors of all ranks are 254 in number. The students in 1934 were 491, of whom 83 were in the final year.


The Université de Montréal is the great French educational institution of Quebec. It was established in 1919 with a medical faculty. In the session of 1934, there were 235 students; the fee is $230. The first French medical school in Montreal was opened in 1843 by Arnoldi, Badgley, Munro, McNider, and Sutherland, not especially French names. Two years later it was incorporated as l'Ecole de Médicine et de Chirurgie de Montréal. The school at first by custom could grant a licence to practise, but this privilege was withdrawn when the College of Physicians and Surgeons was created in 1847. To secure a degree it was arranged that the students should spend the last year at McGill. Up to this time lectures were given in both languages, but a natural desire arose that French alone should be used. Three new French professors were appointed, and an equal number of the English-speaking ones passed over to McGill. The wards of the General Hospital were closed against the school, but in 1850 the Hôtel Dieu was opened to them. Being without university status, the students were compelled to submit to examination by the College of Physicians and Surgeons. They applied in vain to Laval in Quebec, but after 17 years they secured affiliation with Victoria in Cobourg in 1867. Ten years later a medical department of Laval in Quebec was set up in Montreal. The struggle between the two schools continued until 1890, when they were united under the aegis of Laval, and finally in 1919 became the medical faculty of the University of Montreal.


In Quebec city Laval University established a medical faculty in 1852, and three years later the wards of the Hôtel Dieu du Précieux Sang were opened to the students. This school had two precursors. One was the Quebec Dispensary, where for a short time lectures were given in anatomy, medicine, and surgery. The other was more permanent, in the Marine and Emigrant Hospital, designed for the purpose its name implies, but also open to the sick poor, to whom it was a refuge in the epidemics of typhus and cholera prevalent in those days. The school operated for five years, when it became the School of Medicine of the city of Quebec, until it was finally adopted by Laval in 1853. In 1934 there were 260 students, all of whom were bachelors of arts, except eleven, and 75 graduates. The fee is $160, but $350 for strangers. The students have access to two general hospitals, which treated in their wards last year 9,435 patients, and 20,755 in the dispensary. In the Hôtel Dieu there are 300 beds. In addition, there are many special hospitals; for tuberculosis, for maternity, for children, and for the insane.


The Prairie Provinces.

In the Prairie Provinces with their heterogeneous population of Indians, French, Scottish, and half-breeds, Hudson's Bay officials, immigrants from Ontario, from overseas, and from the United States, which by the-year 1870 scarcely amounted to 50,000, no name of any early physician emerged. In the year 1869, when the first Riel rebellion broke out, the name of John Christian Schultz is heard. He was born in Ontario, and came to Winnipeg, in 1860 to practise medicine, but four years later he was drawn aside to journalism. He became the protagonist of those who for various reasons desired the absorption of the country by Canada. He abandoned medicine and journalism, and engaged in storekeeping. He met with failure; the sheriff came with two constables to seize his property; he was a man of great stature and strength; they were obliged to tie him with ropes before he could be conveyed to prison. His wife led a rescue party and set him at liberty. He was left severely alone, and became the head of the Canadian party. He converted his house into a fortress; but it was surrounded by Riel; he was carried off and condemned to death. Again, by the aid of his wife he escaped to the United States, making the journey on snow-shoes. In 1870 the rebellion collapsed, and the country became the province of Manitoba. Schultz returned, and for eleven years he represented Lisgar in the Dominion parliament. In 1882 he was named senator, and lieutenant-governor in 1888. In 1895 he received the honour of knighthood, and died the following year. In medicine he had small place, but he was one of the many Canadian medical men who have made for themselves a name in politics, outside of the profession.


The medical faculty of the University of Manitoba dates from the year 1884, when a charter was granted to the Manitoba medical college. From the first it was affiliated with the University, from which six graduates emerged in 1886. In 1919 it ceased as a separate school. In that year it made a gift of all its property to the University, "on condition that it should establish a faculty of medicine, and carry on medical education in an efficient manner", which it has done. The present session is the 53rd; the annual fee is $240. The students have access to hospitals having beds for 1,800 patients. On April 30, 1934, there were in attendance 275 students.


The University of Saskatchewan, since 1926, offers a two-years course of instruction in the pre-clinical subjects, and two years in pre-medical subjects. The number of medical students in any year is limited to 24; the fee is $150. The University was established in 1907 ; classes were commenced in 1909 with 70 students; the present buildings, ambitious beyond the need, were opened in 1912.


In October, 1913, a faculty of medicine was included in the University of Alberta, established in 1906, and since 1923 a complete course has been offered. The fees average $175 a year for six years. The number of medical students can with difficulty be segregated from the general list contained in the calendar for 1935.


British Columbia.

Early medicine in British Columbia has three distinguished names, Archibald Menzies, William Fraser Tolmie, and John Sebastian Helmcken. Menzies, a graduate of Edinburgh, and surgeon in the navy, appeared in 1786. He was also a botanist, and sent seeds to Kew gardens. He was naturalist with Cap tain Vancouver in 1791. After a stay of five years be brought home many objects of interest, amongst them the arbutus menziesii. Vancouver affirms that he did not lose a single man from disease. Menzies had sailed with Captain Cook, and knew the remedy against scurvy. He was president of the Linnean Society at the time of his death in 1842.


Tolmie arrived in 1833, as surgeon and clerk in the Hudson's Bay Company. He climbed mountains and explored as far north as the Stikeen river. It was he who discovered coal, and built the first stone house on the Pacific coast. He practised medicine, traded in furs, served in the legislature, and wrote the history of things he saw. He lived until the year 1886.


John Sebastian Helmcken was the most remarkable of the three. He qualified at Guy's Hospital, and went as surgeon and clerk to Fort Rupert, where he acted with great firmness as magistrate. He made a canoe voyage of 200 miles to Victoria to attend upon the governor, and remained there. When the two colonies united in 1866, he was elected to the legislature; it was he who secured the capital for Victoria, anti he was one of the delegates to Ottawa to arrange the terms of confederation. For fifty years he practised medicine according to the best tradition of the profession.


Although British Columbia has no university or medical school, it does not seem to suffer from the lack. There are hospitals in 86 places, and the Vancouver General has beds for 1,050 patients.


The Maritime Provinces.

Dalhousie is the only medical school in the Maritime provinces. By an agreement in 1911, the Halifax Medical College, the history of which went back to the year 1868, was incorporated with the University. The foundation stone of Dalhousie was laid on May 22, 1820; but the college did not open until 1838. After five years it was closed. In 1863 the Church of Scotland and the Presbyterian Church established three chairs. With this and other support, especially for ten years from George Munro, the existence of Dalhousie has been continuous. In the medical faculty the annual fee is $275; the number of students in 1934 was 166. Student`s are admitted on favourable terms to the Victoria General Hospital of 250 beds; the Children's Hospital of 85 beds; Grace Maternity, 70 beds; Infectious Hospital, 40 beds; Tuberculosis, 60; and the Hospital for the Insane, with 500 patients. In Saint John, the public hospital contains 350 beds, and there are 30 others in New Brunswick. In Prince Edward Island the new and quite modern Charlottetown hospital contains 80 beds, and an older one 60. A hospital of 50 beds supplies the needs of Summerside. The names that rise to the surface are Sir Charles Tupper and John Stewart, one of Lister's house-surgeons. The premier of Prince Edward Island, MacMillan, is a gold medallist from McGill.


Medical journalism developed with the other branches of the profession. Heagerty cites 31 titles since the year 1826. A number of journals had a more or less permanent existence; the Canada Medical Journal, continued as the Canada Medical and Surgical, which in 1888 became the Montreal Medical; the Canada Medical Record; the Maritime Medical News. In January 1911, these were merged in the Canadian Medical Association journal, with Sir Andrew Macphail as the first editor. This Association was formed in 1907 from all the provincial bodies, and meets once a year in various cities.


Bibliography: For the studious and even for, professional readers, three books are ample: John J. Heagerty's Four centuries of medical history in Canada (4 vols., Toronto, 1928) ; William B. Howell's Medicine in Canada (New York, 1933), in the "Clio Medico" series; and Maude E. Abbott's History of medicine in the province of Quebec (Toronto, 1931). The authorities for the medicine of the French régime are Georges Ahern and his father M. J. Ahern, E. Z. Massicotte, and Arthur Vallée. Dr. Heagerty supplies a bibliography of 30 pages; Dr. Howell cites 62 authorities, and Dr. Abbott 61. There is as usual in all these much repetition and much derivation from sources common to all.

Source: Sir Andrew MACPHAIL, "Medicine", in W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. IV, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 400p., pp. 257-267.

© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College