Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Maude Abbott



Maude Abbott, pathologist - Though world famous, Abbott was never promoted beyond the rank of assistant professor at McGill, where she taught because she was a woman.


Maude Elizabeth Seymour Abbott, pathologist (b at St Andrews East [St-André-Est], Qué 18 Mar 1869; d at Montréal 2 Sept 1940). Though she graduated in arts from McGill (1890), she was barred from medicine because of her sex, so she earned Bishop's CM, MD (1894); ironically McGill awarded her MD, CM (honoris causa, 1910) also LLD (1936). As assistant curator, McGill Medical Museum (1898), and curator (1901), she introduced the use of the museum in teaching pathology.

A disciple of William OSLER, she contributed to his text Modern Medicine (1908) the chapter on "Congenital Heart Disease," which he declared the best thing he had ever read on the subject. Apart from 2 years, her whole career was at McGill where, though world famous, she was never promoted beyond the rank of assistant professor.

She served as permanent international secretary of the International Association of Medical Museums and editor of its journal (1907-1938), and published many papers on pathology as well as histories of medicine and nursing. A trifle eccentric in later life, she was generous, active, always involved and sometimes known as "The Beneficent Tornado."


©2016 Linda Sullivan-Simpson
The Past Whispers
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