Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

“L’un de mes rêves, que je trouve bien égoïste, est de faire des études.”

© Irma Coucill & CMHF
1994 Intronisé

Maude Abbott MD

Né: 
le 18 mars 1869 à St. Andrews East, Québec
Mort: 
le 2 septembre 1940
Études: 
BA - Université McGill; MD - Université Bishop's
Pionnière indéfectible dans son dévouement envers la science, la Dre Maude Abbott a pavé la voie pour les générations futures de femmes en médecine. Déterminée à entrer en médecine à une époque où la profession commençait à peine à s’ouvrir à la possibilité de former des femmes médecins, la Dre Abbott surmonta courageusement l’adversité pour abattre les obstacles rencontrés par de nombreuses femmes souhaitant entrer en médecine, et devint une sommité internationale dans le domaine des maladies cardiaques.

A brilliant student, Dr.  Abbott was one of the first women to obtain a bachelor's degree from McGill University in 1890. However, she was refused admission to the McGill Faculty of Medicine because of her gender. However, she persevered and, being the only woman in her class, she was first in class when she graduated four years later at Bishop's University.

After obtaining her medical degree, Dr.  Abbott was hired by McGill University to the Department of Pathology. She became a prolific author, publishing dozens of articles on the history of medicine and nursing, and on cardiology. His research focused mainly on congenital heart disease, his interest in this disease coming from the early days of his practice of medicine in Montreal. Her work was revolutionary and, despite the persistent reluctance to accept women in medicine at the time, was well received by the medical community.

In 1898, Dr.  Abbott was appointed assistant curator, then curator of the McGill University Medical Museum. D re  Abbott undertook to prepare and catalog the entire collection of medical specimens museum, some dating back sixty-five years. The results established the international reputation of the museum and made it a leading educational tool for medical students and a source of documentary information for practitioners.

In 1920, McGill University conferred an honorary medical degree on Dr.  Abbott  - eight years before officially accepting women into medical school.

Dr. Abbott's talent for pathology caught the eye of a medical authority, Sir William Osler , who asked him to write the chapter on congenital heart disease in his book, which was to become a classic, Modern Medicine . This contribution prompted Dr. Abbott to publish in 1936 her Atlas of Congenital Heart Disease, in which she presents a new classification system for congenital heart diseases. His work contributed to a substantial improvement in the understanding of the anatomy of the heart and laid the foundations for modern cardiac surgery. She became an international authority on the subject, showing the world that women could contribute to the advancement of science and medicine.

The participation of D re  Abbott was also instrumental in the creation of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada and the International Association of Medical Museums . Since her death in 1940, she has been revered as a pioneer in cardiology and for her role in establishing the foundations that enabled many other women to pursue successful careers in medicine.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

"An Inner Grace: The Life Story of Dr. Maude Abbott and the Advent of Heart Surgery" 

Historica Canada #InnovateursInspirants Dre Maude Abbott