Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

“Il était chaleureux et bienveillant et animé de très grands principes.”

© Steve Tracy & CMHF
2015 Intronisé

John McCrae MD

Né: 
le 30 novembre 1872 à Guelph, Ontario
Mort: 
le 28 janvier 1918
Études: 
MD - Université de Toronto
Clinicien médical et chef de file militaire chevronné, John McCrae a été l’un des médecins les mieux formés de sa génération; ses recherches ont fait avancer notre compréhension de la tuberculose, de la scarlatine, de la néphrite et de la pneumonie lobaire. Il est coauteur de l’influent traité Text-Book of Pathology for Students of Medicine et il était reconnu pour son engagement envers la littérature et les sciences humaines. Au début de la Première Guerre mondiale, le Dr McCrae a mis de côté sa carrière universitaire prometteuse pour devenir médecin militaire au sein de la 1re Brigade de l’Artillerie canadienne de campagne. Cette brigade a joué un rôle déterminant dans la défense héroïque du front allié au cours d’un combat historique, la Deuxième bataille d’Ypres. Il a été témoin de décès et de blessures à une échelle inimaginable aujourd’hui. Après l’inhumation sur le champ de bataille de Lt. Alexis Helmer d’Ottawa, le 2 mai 1915, il a composé le poème In Flanders Fields (Au champ d’honneur), qui est devenu célèbre dans le monde entier et a inspiré l’adoption du coquelicot comme symbole du Souvenir.

D r  McCrae was born in Guelph, Ontario. At the age of 16, he won a scholarship from the University of Toronto. He did his residency at the Toronto General Hospital and worked for a short time at John Hopkins University with Dr.  William Osler. At the time, he was writing poetry and, in 1894, he won the Saturday Night short story contest . His poems have been published in The Canadian Magazine , The Westminister and Massey's Magazine .

In 1899, he accepted a postdoctoral fellowship in pathology at McGill University, which he chose to postpone to join the second contingent of Canadian soldiers in the South African War. He served in the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery and displayed exceptional bravery as an artillery officer.

Returning to Montreal in January 1901, Dr. McCrae completed his specialty training under the direction of Dr.  Adami. He was one of the first Canadians to receive formal laboratory research training, and he invented a new process to facilitate his study of the agglutination of several bacteria. He has written around thirty research articles to present the results of nearly a thousand autopsies; he has held university positions at McGill University, taught at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and practiced medicine in a private practice.

LCol McCrae then became head doctor of the Canadian General Hospital n o  3 (McGill). He was an inspiring leader who worked to the point of exhaustion in this position for two and a half years, before tragically succumbing to pneumonia in January 1918. Before his death, his extraordinary medical contributions to the effort had been recognized by Britain when he became the first Canadian to be appointed medical officer to the British Army.

 

Minutes du patrimoine: John McCrae