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The names appearing below are just a fraction of the Canadian women of accomplishment. Check out The Famous Canadian Women 's section ON THE JOB  which contains mini profiles of 2100 Canadian Women of Achievement.

Medical Professionals (Doctors, Nurses, Dentists & Researchers)   
1600's
 

Jeanne Mance. Baptised Langres, France November 12, 1606 Died June 18, 1673. As a young reader she had enjoyed reading the Jesuit Relations, published reports of priests in the new world and thus she became interested in foreign missions, Jeanne joined the Société Notre-Dame de Montréal. She sailed as the 1st lay nurse for New France May 9, 1641 and founded first hospital in New France in 1642. The, Hotel-Dieu Hospital of Montreal was completed by 1645. She would return to France twice, in 1645 and 1657 to attain additional financial support for her work in Montreal. Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp in her honour in 1973. She has been declared a National Historic Person of Canada by Canada’s Historic Sites and Monument Board.

 
1800's
 

James Miranda Stuart Barry. (née Bulkeley [?]) Born England 1795. Died 1865. In the day when medicine only accepted men as students one woman disguised herself as a men and entered the Edinburgh University in 1809. As a doctor in the British army she served in the far corners of the British Empire and gained a reputation as an outstanding surgeon. In 157 Dr. Barry was posted to Canada where he was well respected for his fight to provide cleaner hospital facilities and better food for the working soldiers. An odd small “man” with little or no facial hair Dr. Barry was considered an eccentric. It would not be until death, when the body was being prepared for burial that it would be discovered that the renowned doctor was indeed a woman! It must have cause a stir in the Victorian society to have had the 1st “woman” doctor in the British Army!!!

 
1860's
 

Emily Howard Stowe (née Jennings). Born Norwich, Upper Canada (Ontario) May 1, 1831. Died April 30,1903.  She taught school when she was quite young. It was not until 1854 that she had attended and graduated from Normal School. That same year she was appointed Principal at Brantford Public School. This was the 1st appointment of a woman to such a position in Canada! However Emily really only wanted to save money from her teaching so that she could afford to attend medical school.  With no Canadian institution allowing women to study medicine she studied in the United States and  in 1868 became the 1 Canadian woman to practice medicine in Canada. Emily was a life long champion of women’s rights. It was she who organized the Women’s Medical College in Toronto in 1883. She was also founder and first president of the Dominion Women’s Enfranchisement Association in 1889. Sources Encyclopedia Canadiana Online (Accessed 2000) : The Indomitable Women Doctors by Carlotta  Hacker, (Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1974)

1870's
Charlotte Whitehead Ross. Born 1843,Darlington, England  Died February 16, 1916 Winnipeg, Manitoba. . She immigrated to Canada with her family when she was five years old. Charlotte received her schooling in Clinton, Ontario, and went to finishing school at the Sacred Heart Convent in Montreal. At eighteen, she married David Ross, her father's associate in the railway construction business. In 1870 women were not allowed entry into Canadian medical schools. She enrolled in an U.S. medical school, the Women’s Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with her husband's encouragement. She was forced to take 2 absences because of a miscarriage and the birth of a daughter. She graduated in 1875 and set up a successful practice in Montreal, Quebec, the first woman doctor in the city.  In 1878 left  Montreal to join her husband and father who were building the Canadian Pacific Railway, in Whitemouth, Manitoba Charlotte was the 1st woman to practice medicine in that province. There are many stories attesting to the fact that after delivering a  baby, she would scrub the floor, do the washing, and cook enough food for several days so that the new mother would get a couple of days' rest. She was also known to bring new mothers a bouquet of white roses that she grew in her garden. She was strict about antiseptic methods and sterilization which meant she was far ahead of some of her contemporaries in her practice of medicine. Dr. Ross practiced medicine for twenty-seven years without a license. She applied for licenses in both Montreal and Winnipeg, but she was denied because she refused to go to medical school in Canada and pass the exam by the all-male admissions board of the Manitoba College of Physicians and Surgeons. She continued to practice medicine, despite the fact that she knew she could be prosecuted and jailed. She avoided prosecution in Montreal because she worked under the patronage of Dr. Hingston, her original mentor, who later became the mayor of Montreal. She avoided prosecution in Manitoba because her practice was rural and she was the only physician in Whitemouth. The Charlotte W. Ross Gold Medal for highest honours in obstetrics is given annually in the Manitoba Medical College. Dr. Ross finally did get her license posthumously in November 1993 when Liberal MLA Sharon Carstairs introduced a resolution to that effect in the Manitoba Legislature. Government of Manitoba. Status of Women. Women working for Healthy Communities by Ada Ducas et all October 2001. Online (Accessed December 2011)
Jenny (Jennie) Kidd Trout (née Gowanlock) Born Kelso, Scotland April 21, 1841. Died November 10,1921. The beginning of her work career was spent as a teacher in Stratford, Ontario but after becoming acquainted with Dr. Emily Stowe (1831-1903) her career took a different turn. After her marriage to Edward Trout in 1865 Jenny decided to become a medical doctor.  Since no Canadian medical school accepted women Jennie studied in the United States.  March 11, 1875, on passing the Ontario registration exam she became the 1st Canadian woman licensed to practice medicine in Canada. From 1875 to 1882 Jennie operated the Therapeutic & Electrical Institute with her friend Dr. Amelia Tefft who had trained in Philadelphia with her. She also ran a free dispensary in Toronto with branches in both Hamilton and Brantford, Ontario.  Jennie was rather shy and did not like publicity but this did not deter her when she served as Vice-President of the Advancement of Women and as President of the Women's Temperance Union. She also wanted to allow women to learn medicine in Canada and when Toronto originally refused to accept the idea of having women on staff or on the Board of a Women's Medical college , Jenny simply took her plan to Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario where a Women's Medical College was established with women both on staff and on the Board of Directors. The College became amalgamated with the Toronto Women's Medical College some yeas later.  Sources Encyclopedia Canadiana Online (Accessed 2000) : The Indomitable Women Doctors by Carlotta  Hacker, (Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1974)
Lenora King. (née Howard.) Born Farmersville (Athens), Upper Canada (Ontario).  In order to study medicine she had to leave Canada to study at the University of Michigan Women's Medical College. With the support of the Women's Foreign Missionary Society she sailed to Shanghai in 1877, the 1st Canadian doctor to practice medicine in China. She was 60 years ahead of Dr. Norman Bethune. Dr King obtained the patronage of Lady Li, wife of the viceroy of Chilhli province in Tientsin. It was after she had attended Lady Li that she opened the first Chinese hospital for women and children. In 1884 she married a widowed Scottish missionary, the Reverend Alexander King. As a married woman she was expected to support the work of her husband, not work on her own. Lady Li opened a new hospital for Dr King in 1885, a hospital totally funded by the Chinese. In 1889 the Government of China recognized the distinguished doctor with the Imperial Chinese Order of the Double Dragon making her a Mandarin which is a similar to being a knight in England. In 1909 she organized the Government Medical School for Women so that Chinese doctors and nurses could be trained.  She is a member of the Canadian Medicine Hall of Fame.
1880's

Anne Augusta Stowe-Gullen.  (née Stowe). (née Stowe) Born  July 27, 1857, Mount Pleasant, Toronto) Canada West (Now Ontario) . Died September 25, 1943, Toronto, Ontario. Augusta’s mother and mentor was Dr. Emily Stowe(1831-1903). Augusta was the 1st woman to earn a medical degree in Canada. She graduated from Victoria College, (an affiliate of the University of Toronto) Cobourg, Ontario in 1883 the 1st woman in Canada to earn a Canadian medical degree.  Upon graduation she married Dr. John B. Gullen, a future founder in 1896 of Toronto Western Hospital. After their marriage the couple did post graduate coursed in children’s medicine in New York, U.S.A. Augusta taught at the Ontario Medical College for Women (known 1883-94 as the Woman's Medical College, Toronto) and was on U of T Senate 1910-22. Both she and her mother were leading figures in the suffrage movement. Augusta succeeded her mother as president of the Dominion Women's Enfranchisement Assn in 1903. She was also a founder of the National Council of women. In 1935 she received the Order of the British Empire. Sources: Carla Hacker. The Indomitable Women Doctors. (1974) ; K. Smith. Dr. Augusta Stowe-Gullen; a pioneer of social conscience in The Canadian Medical Association Journal, January 15, 1982 ; The Canadian Encyclopedia. Online (Accessed June 2003)

 
Mary Ellen Birtles Born  1858, Sheffield, England. Died Alexander, Manitoba on June 22, 1943. She immigrated to Canada with her family in June 1883, settling at Winnipeg. In 1889, she was one of the first three graduates of the nurse training program at the Winnipeg General Hospital, established in 1887. Upon graduation, she left to work at a small hospital in North Dakota where she remained a few months. In 1890 she accepted a position as assistant nurse at a new hospital in Medicine Hat, North West Territories [now Alberta], staying there two years until a hospital opened at Brandon. She took the position of senior nurse and remained there a year and a half. Moving to Calgary in 1894 she was in charge of the new hospital being built there, the first Matron of the Calgary General Hospital. She attended British celebrations of the 1887 60th anniversary of the reign of Queen Victoria, returning to Manitoba the next year to become Matron of the Brandon General Hospital, where she stayed until her retirement in August 1919. In 1935, she received the Order of the British Empire . Source: Memorable Manitobans. Profile by Gordon Goldsborough Online (Accessed December 2011)
Elizabeth Secord (née Smith) Born October 26, 1841, Blissville, New Brunswick. Died July 4, 1916. After here early schooling Elizabeth earned her teaching Certificate at Normal School. After teaching for awhile she met and in 1869 married John Secord (Died 1874). The couple had one son in 1872. Elizabeth attended medical school in Keeokuk, Michigan and spent her internship at the Women’s Medical College in Chicago in 1882. Returning home she registered in June 1883 as the 1st woman doctor in New Brunswick before leaving for Dublin and London, England for post graduate studies. At first she opened a practice in Frederick, New Brunswick but moved on to Norton and finally settled in Farmerston (now Jacksonville) for her 33 years of practicing medicine. In 1908 at the age of 67 she took in 2 British Home Children, Herbert Morris and Elsie May Morris. The children were sent to Canada by caring organizations in England. Elizabeth signed a contract to care for and educate the children. Sources: The Indomitable Women Doctors by Carlotta Hacker, (Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1974) : Elizabeth Caroline (Smith) Secord by John Wood, Online (Accessed March 2014)
Maria Louisa Angwin Born September 21, 1849, Blackhead, Conception Bay, Newfoundland. Died April 25, 1898, Ashland Massachusetts. Her family resettled in Nova Scotia in the 1850’s finally settling in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia in 1865. She attended the Mount Allison Wesleyan Academy in Sackville, New Brunswick graduating in 1866.  She knew that her family could not afford to send her to study medicine like she wanted so she earned her teacher’s certificate at Normal School in Truro, Nova Scotia> She taught in Dartmouth for 5 years saving to attend medical studies in the U.S.A. In June 1882 she graduated from the Women’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. She did one year of internship at the New England Hospital, Boston Massachusetts. She also did some post graduate courses at the Royal Free Hospital in London, England. On September 20, 1884 she became the 1st woman licensed medical doctor in Nova Scotia. She was ahead of her times in many ways not only in medical studies but in her appearance. She wore her hair cut short. She was an avid member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and lectured on the problems of alcohol and tobacco consumption. She also advocated for advanced education for women and no doubt votes for women. During a trip to the U.S.A. for ill health, she died unexpectedly from surgery.   Sources:  The Indomitable Women Doctors by Carlotta Hacker (Toronto: Clarke & Irwin, 1974) ; The Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online (Accessed April 2014)
Elizabeth Robb Beatty Although she married at 18 this did not deter her from seeking an education. In 1800 she was one of the women taking summer medical courses for women at Queen’s University. In the fall 1881 these courageous women joined in the men’s courses at Queen’s. Both men and women in the same classes proved to be too much for the students and the Women’s Medical College was formed. Elizabeth graduated in 1884 and sailed to India as a medical missionary for the Presbyterian Church of Canada as the 1st woman medical missionary in what would turn out to be a long list of dedicated individual women. In Indore, India she lived in a mud house that also served as a dispensary and hospital. She learned Hindi, the local language, to help tend the people and even trained Indian women in nursing. She went on to build the 1st Woman’s Hospital in Central India. Ill health forced her to return to Canada by the end of the decade. She left behind the strong foundations of medical missions in India. Source: The Indomitable Women Doctors, by Carlotta Hacker. (Toronto: Clarke & Irwin, 1974)

Octavia Grace England (née Ritchie) Born Montreal, Quebec January 16, 1868. Died February 1,1948. She would be the 1st woman to be valedictorian at McGill University even though she was originally refused entry because she was a woman. She was the first woman to graduate from a medical school in Quebec.

1890's
Caroline Louise Josephine Wells.   Dentist
née  Irwin Born August 1856. Died March 17, 1939. Josephine married dentist John Wells on March 9, 1877. The couple had three children. After the death of her husband the children were sent to live with relatives while Josephine attended dental school. In 1893 Josephine Wells was the 1st woman to graduate from the Royal College of Dental Surgeons. She went on to receive her doctorate degree from the University of Toronto in 1899. Josephine practiced her profession for 36 years in Toronto. She provided dental services at provincial mental hospitals in Toronto, Mimico, Hamilton, Orillia and at the infamous Ontario Mercer Reformatory for Women.
Pearl Smith Chute (née Smith) Born 1872 St. Catharines, Ontario. In 1895 she graduated in medical studies at the Women’s Hospital, University of Toronto. She became the 1st woman doctor to intern in Canada when she was at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto. In 1896 she left to begin a career and to join her brother Everette Chute and her finance in India. She married a medical doctor the Rev. Jesse Chute (1861-   ) in India where they would raise the five children. Jesse built his wife the Akidu’s Star of hope Hospital in 1898. It consisted of three rooms, one room for women, a room for men and an office and dispensary in the middle. Pearl sent promising students to Vellore to stud medicine and she soon had qualified Indian staff working with her. She served as the 1st woman doctor in the Baptist Mission, in a career that covered 40 years of service. Her small hospital was replaced by a sturdy stone building staffed by qualified Indian staff. She was awarded the Kaisar-i-Hind medal for outstanding service to India. Source: The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker, Clarke Irwin, 1974).
Georgea Powell.  Born Bouctouche, New Brunswick 1857. Died 1925. Georgea took her nursing training at the Waltham Training School for nurses in Massachusetts, graduating in 1895 In 1898 she headed a group of four nurses headed for Dawson, Yukon. Georgea was officially  the Lady Superintendant of the Victorian Order of Nurses for the territory of the Yukon. The women arrived in the midst of a severe outbreak of typhoid fever. Their work garnered national attention and the support of the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON). Georgea remained in nursing in Dawson until 1904 when she married North West Mounted Police Staff Sergeant, George Bates (1858-1908).  She remained in western Canada after the death of her husband and worked as Matron of the Children’s Shelter,  Edmonton, Alberta from 1912-1918.  Source: New Brunswick women’s History online accessed November 2012. ; The Canadian Association for the History of Nursing Newsletter Vol. 17 No. 2 Fall 2004 , )nline accessed November 2012.
Helen Elizabeth Ryan (née Reynolds) Born June 7, 1860, Mount Forest, Ontario. Died July 9, 1947, Victoria British Columbia. She attended Queen’s University in the second class that allowed women students in 1881.  Helen would have to withstand abuse from some of the male students and faculty but she still graduated at the top of her class in 1885. She opened her first practice in Toronto. While struggling to establish herself she met and married Thomas John Ryan. The couple settled in Sudbury, Ontario  where he would become elected mayor (1899 to 1901). She was the 1st woman doctor to practice in Northern Ontario. Together they raised a family of five children.  In 1907 the family relocated to British Columbia where Helen, unable to practice medicine in the province, became active in public life. She worked for women’s franchise. (right to vote). She was the 1st woman member of the Canadian Medical Association. Sources: Greater Sudbury 125 1883-2008 the story of our times (Bilingual) ; South Side Story, January 2005. Additional information provided by Queen’s University Archives. ; The indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker (Toronto: Clarke Irwin, 1974)
1900's
Irma LeVasseur Born January 18, 1878. Died January 22, 1964. Young Irma wanted to study medicine but no schools in Canada would accept women, so Irma headed to New York in the U.S.A. to earn her medical education. She returned to Quebec in 1900 but it would take three years before a private members bill would pass the legislature allowing her to join the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Province of Quebec as the 1st woman doctor. She found a lack of knowledge about childhood medical practices and traveled to Europe to gain more knowledge in 1908. She and Mme De Gaspé-Beaubien founded Hôpital Sainte-Justine for the care of children. In 1915 she responded to the request of doctors to serve in World War l returning to New York to work for the Red Cross in the USA. In 1922, using her own savings, she founded Hôpital de L’Enfant-Jésus. By 1927 she had her own clinic for handicapped children and also opened a school for disabled youth. In order to relax from the rigueur of medicine and hospital administration she worked with her other passion of painting and took classes at Ecole des Beaux-Arts in the 1920’s becoming an accomplished artist. In the 1950’s she was celebrated for her 50 years of medical service by the Circle des femmes universitaires, however, she would die in poverty largely and unknown pioneer in pediatric medical care. Sources: Irma Levasseur http://grandquebec.com/gens-du-pays/irma-levasseur(accessed June 30, 2008) ; Celebrating women’s achievements: Canadian women in science: Irma LeVasseur http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/   also available in French. (Accessed June 30, 2008)  This entry suggested by Pat Land.
Georgina Fane Pope. Born Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island 1862. Died June 6, 1938.  She graduated from the Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing, in New York. and served in various administrative positions at hospitals in the US. With the Canadian involvement in the South African War , she volunteered for nursing services with the British forces in October 1899. In fact she headed the first group of four Canadian nurses. In 1902 she returned to South Africa , leading a small nursing force, the third such group but this time they were officially the Canadian Army Nursing Service, a part of the Canadian Army Medical Corp. In 1903 she was the 1st Canadian to receive the Royal Red Cross for conspicuous service in the field. Once more at home, she continued to serve in the Canadian reserves. By 1906 she was working with the permanent forces at the Garrison Hospital at Halifax and in 1908 she became the 1st Matron of the Canadian Army Medical Corp. She served in World War 1 in 1917 -1918.  In 1983 Canada’s National Historical Sites and Monument Board declared her a National Historic Person of Canada.
Emma Sophia Baker . Born 1856, Milton, (Upper Canada (now Ontario) Died October 26, 1943. She graduated Albert College, Belleville Ontario and worked there for three years. Moving to Williamsport Pennsylvania she worked 4 years at what is now Lycoming College. Returning to Canada she worked at the Presbyterian Ladies College in Toronto for 6 years. She also spent time learning the French language at the Sorbonne in Paris and then she took courses at Nottingham College at Cambridge, England.  Just at the turn of the century in 1899 she was an early female student to graduate with a B.A. from the University of Toronto. By 1903 she had earned her PhD from the university where she was the 1st woman to receive a PhD in Philosophy (Psychology was covered by Philosophy at this time.) From 1901, while still working on her PhD through to 1914 she served at Lady Principal at Mount Allison Ladies College in Sackville, New Brunswick. She did take a year off from Mount Allison in 1911 to visit the Holy lands and came back to share her knowledge with her students. In 1914 she moved to the Maryland College for Women in Lutherville, Maryland, U.S.A.. Retiring in 1928 she moved back to Toronto. Source: Connie SmirleL2012)  Emma Sophia Baker In A. Rutherford (Ed.), Psychology's Feminist Voices Multimedia Internet Archive. Retrieved from http://www.feministvoices.com Online (Accessed August 2014)
Elizabeth Scott Matheson Born January 6, 1866, Campbellford, Upper Canada. Died January 15, 1958, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A. Her family resettled in Winnipeg, Manitoba where Elizabeth went to high school and by 1878 she was a teacher in Manitoba. In 1887 she volunteered to work in a home for orphans. The following year she was studying medicine at the Women’s Medical College in Kingston, Ontario in preparation for being a medical missionary with the Presbyterian mission in India. While in India she became ill with Malaria and was sent back to Canada. On December 22, 1880 she married John Matheson, a sort of jack of all trades who would become an Anglican minister. In 1892 Jack was appointed to the Onion Lake Reserve Mission. Jack took up trading to supplement the meager income and started a cattle ranch along with a farm and gardens allowing him to build stables and a storehouse. He also built up the poor church, the manse and a 3 storey schoolhouse. The couple would have nine children as well as a large number of adopted Indian children. The school became inter-denomination embracing the Catholic Métis, Presbyterians and Anglicans. Elizabeth completed her medical school studies at the Manitoba Medical College and the Ontario Medical College for Women in Toronto, Ontario in 1898. She became the only medical help for many people often riding miles to help those in need. In 1901 there was a small pox epidemic and Elizabeth was appointed a government doctor by the Department of Indian Affairs even though she was not licensed. The NWT College of Physicians and Surgeons refused to register her, so she went to Winnipeg to repeat fourth year medicine and received a second MD degree in 1904 and became the 1st registered woman doctor in the area. After John’s death in 1916 and the appointment of a new principal at the Onion Lake School Elizabeth moved to Winnipeg where she became a doctor with the Public schools until she retired in 1948. BOOK: The Doctor Rode Side Saddle. Sources: The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker, 1974. : The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Online (Accessed May 2014)
1910's
Maud Leonora Menten. Born Port Lambton, Ontario 1879  Died 1960. A dedicated and outstanding medical scientist she was the 1st Canadian woman to receive a medical doctorate in 1911 at the University of Toronto. In 1913, while working in Germany, she and a colleague Leonora Michaelis developed the Michaelis-Menten equation which is a basic biochemical concept. She continued researching and publishing and made discoveries relating to blood sugar, hemoglobin and kidney functions. From 1951-1954 she conducted cancer research in British Columbia.
Jane "Jennie" Smillie Robertson. (née Smillie) Born February 10, 1878, Hansall, Ontario. Died February 26, 1981. Jane became a teacher so that she could earn money to attend the Ontario Medical College, Kingston, Ontario (merged with University of Toronto, 1906). Once she had earned her medical certificate in 1909 she could not find a Toronto hospital that would accept her for residency. She took off the U.S.A. to intern at Philadelphia’s Women’s Medical Collage. She returned to Toronto to practice medicine and became, perhaps, the 1st woman in Canada to perform surgery. She operated in a private home because she was still having problems finding a position in any local hospital which were still reluctant to accept woman doctors. She was also the 1st woman doctor in Canada to perform major gynecological surgery. Jennie worked to establish Women’s College Hospital as well as the Federation of Medical Women in Canada.  At 70 she married her childhood sweetheart, Alex Robertson. Sources: “Dr Jennie Smillie Robertson, woman surgeon, was 1st to enter practice in Canada”, Globe and Mail, March 3, 1981 : Builders and Pioneers: Individuals
Minerva Ellen Reid. Born 1872, Orangeville, Ontario. Died May 28, 1957, Toronto, Ontario. A bright student in Public School and High School  she obtained a teaching certificate and moved to be with her brother Dr. John Buchanan  Reid (1861-1931) in Tilsonburg, Ontario. It while living with her brother that she became interested in medicine. In 1905 she and her sister Hannah Emily Reid (1876-1955) both graduated from medical school in Toronto, Ontario. Minerva completed her surgical training in London, England and Dublin, Ireland. Both Minerva and Hannah served on the 1st Board of Directors of the Toronto Women’s College Hospital. In 1915 Minerva became the 1st woman to be chief of Surgery in North America. Minerva also campaigned to the establishment of Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto to care for wounded soldiers. She was also active in her community as a member of the Toronto Women’s Committee. She ran for provincial parliament in 1929 and in 1935 she ran in the federal election. In 1996 Rose Anthony wrote a one woman play, The League of Notions, based on Minerva’s life.
1920's
Victoria Chung (sometimes spelled Cheung) Born Victoria British Columbia, 1897. Died South Guangzhou Province, China May 1966. As a child growing up she taught Sunday School at her Church , joined girls groups and took music lessons in Chinatown. Her mother was a working nurse with irregular hours so Victoria boarded at the school where she proclaimed that she wanted to be a missionary in China. In 1917 the Women’s Missionary Society offered Victoria a university scholarship. Since British Columbia prohibited Chinese people from entering any profession, Victoria studied medicine at the University or Toronto, the only Canadian school to accept female medical students in Canada, at that time. Graduating in 1922, she was the 1st woman of Chinese descent to become a doctor in Canada. The WMS sent her to Marion Barclay Hospital for women and children in China, fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a missionary. Her family would also join her in China. Not only was she a doctor making house calls for the sick but she also taught at the local nursing school She modernized medical facilities and even bought an ambulance in 1932. In all she would work 43 years in China. She remained during the Japanese invasion in the 1930 and later when Communism was introduced into China she again remained to serve the sick. Her funeral was attended by some 2000 people. There is a three meter high statue of Victoria in the lobby of Jiangnen Central Hospital in South Guangzhou Province where she served. On December 8, 2012 the City of Victoria, British Columbia declared Victoria Chung Day while in China, her accomplishments were recognized on the 100th anniversary of the Jiangnen Central Hospital. Sources: From the pages of three ladies: Canadian women missionaries in Republican China. By Deborah Shulman (MA Thesis, Concordia University, 1996) ; Victoria Chung: a Legacy of unselfish service by Xiao Kaigang. Womenofchina.cn accessed January 2012 ; 100 more Canadian Heroines by Merna Forester (Dundurn, 2011)
1930's

Jessie Catherine Gray. Born Augusta, Georgia, U.S.A. August 26, 1910.  Died October 16, 1978. A distinguished and internationally recognized surgeon, lecturer and researcher, Dr. Gray has so many “firsts” that “The Canadian Encyclopedia” calls her Canada’s first lady of surgery. From 1941 until retirement in 1965 she worked with the Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, as associate and as surgeon-in-chief. Here is the list of firsts: 1934, 1st woman gold medalist in medicine at the University of Toronto; 1939 first woman to hold a master of surgery degree; 1941 first woman resident surgeon a the Toronto General Hospital; 1941 first Canadian woman to become a “fellow” in the Royal College of Surgeons; first woman member of the Central Surgical Society of North America; 1966 first woman elected to the Science Council of Canada.

 
Elinor Francis Elizabeth Black *Born 1905 Nelson, British Columbia. Died Winnipeg, Manitoba January 30, 1982.  At 12 years old she moved to Winnipeg with her family. She was educated at the University of Manitoba Medical School, graduating Cum Laude in 1930. After a year in Britain she set up practice in Winnipeg in 1931. In 1937 she received a six-month appointment as house surgeon at the South London Hospital for Women, following which she took the examination to become, in 1938, the 1st Canadian woman member of the British Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. In 1950, she opened  the Women’s Pavilion at the Winnipeg General Hospital  and in  1951 she was appointed professor of obstetrics and gynecology and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Manitoba. That same year she was declared Winnipeg’s Woman of the Year. In 1961, she was elected the first woman president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada. She retired from the University in 1964, although she continued to teach for many years thereafter.  Her research papers are at the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections. Sources: Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted University of Manitoba Press, 1999: Memorable Manitobans Profile by Gordon Goldsborough. Online (accessed December 2011) :; Government of Manitoba. Status of Women. Women
1940's
Jean Flatt Davey. Born March 16, 1909,Hamilton, Ontario. Died March 31, 1980. After graduation in Medicine she interned at the Toronto General Hospital and Women’s College Hospital. Wanting to serve in World War ll in August 1941 she became the second woman and 1st woman doctor  to in enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Women’s Division. She held the position of Squadron Leader of the Women’s Division, RCAF, and was the 1st woman to be granted a commission in the Medical Branch of any Canadian Armed Forces.  May 28, 1943 she was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of her service.  In 1950 she was appointed Chief of Medicine at the Women’s College Hospital. 1956 through to 1973 she taught at the University of Toronto where she became Professor in the Faculty of Medicine. In 1973 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. Source: The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker (Toronto: Clarke, Irwin & Co Ltd, 1974) ; Order of Canada, www.gg.ca (Accessed February 2014)
Stella W. Tate. Born 1922. Died 1999. Stella graduated from the University of Toronto with a diploma in occupational therapy in 1943. Hired as a typist in the Canadian Navy she was shortly promoted and commissioned as a lieutenant and became the Canadian Navy’s 1st occupational Therapist. In the 1960’s she established the Occupational Therapy Program at Toronto’s Hugh MacMillan Rehabilitation Center. In the 1970’s she helped develop the province of Ontario’s 1st home care programme which allowed patients to be at home while having therapy. Source: “Builders and Pioneers : Individuals who helped ideas prosper” by
1950's
Winnifred Mary Steward. Born June 26, 1908, Fernie, British Columbia. Died October 26, 1990 Kelona, British Columbia. Her family moved to Edmonton Alberta in 1911 and it was here that she attended school. She studied nursing at Edmonton General Hospital and became a Registered Nurse (RN) in 1929. Winnifred married Duncan Stewart in 1932 and in 1934 they welcomed their son Parker. Parker was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and Winnifred refused to accept that the limits that were supposed to happen with developmentally disadvantaged children during this era. This led her on a journey to experimental research into new teaching methods. In 1953, along with other parents she formed the Winnifred Stewart Association for the Mentally Handicapped and established the 1st school of its kind to serve handicapped children. In 1954 she was the 1st woman to address the Alberta Legislature from the floor of the provincial House of Commons, The Alberta government in turn provide the 1st financial support for schools for mentally handicapped children. Between 1954 and 1970 Winnifred organized and funded 19 schools across western Canada. In 1956 her work was recognized when she became the Most Outstanding Person of the Year sponsored by the Canadian Mental Health Association. In 1966 she was named Edmonton’s Citizen of the Year. She als0 inspired the opening of the unique Western Industrial Research Training Centre in 1968. In 1972 she was presented with the Order of Canada. She was tireless in her continuing efforts and in 1979 Crewood Industries was opened as a vocational training sheltered workshop. In 1985 she was posthumously inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence. Winnifred also is known as the Edmontonian of the Century. Source: Winnifred Mary Stewart (1908-1990) Naming Committee, Honouring People and Places in Our City. WWW. Edmonton.ca (Accessed May 2015) Submitted by Dr Kathleen L. Linaker, Centre for Life and Health Services, Mohawk Valley Community College, Utica, New York, U.S.A.
 
Lucille Teasdale-Corti Born January 30, 1929, Montreal, Quebec.  Died August 1, 1996, Lombardy, Italy. From the age of 12 she knew just what she wanted to do, she wanted to be a doctor. She studies at the University of Montreal and in 1955 was the 1st woman in Quebec to receive a diploma as a surgeon. She attempted to obtain training abroad but was turned down by American hospitals because she was a women. During her internship in Montréal Lucille met Piero Corti, a young Italian doctor studying pediatrics. His dream to establish a world-class teaching hospital in Africa. He had already heard about a small clinic near Lacor, a town not far from Gulu, a city in northern Uganda. It was little more than a dispensary with a few dozen beds, but he saw it as a starting point.  In 1961, she joined forces with Corti, her future husband, and they worked in Uganda for more than thirty years. Dr. Teasdale would tend to as many as 300 outpatients each morning and perform surgeries in the afternoon.  Dr. Teasdale performed more the 13,000 surgeries working through Idi Admin’s dictatorship, civil wars, epidemics and massacres. She received many awards for her life work including being an Officer of the Order of the Merit of the Republic of Italy in 1981, inducted as a member of the Order of Canada 1991, named a Grand Officer of the National Order of Québec 1995, and awarded the Saskawa Prize with her husband in 1996. This is the most prestigious distinction awarded by the World Health Organization of the United Nations. She died from aids which she contracted while operating on an infected soldier. Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp in her honour as part of the Millennium series, January 17, 2000. In 2001 she was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Sources: Dr. Lucille Teasdale. Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Online (Accessed 2005) ; Lucille Teasdale. The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (Accessed 2005) ; Dawson, Joanna and Beverly Tallon. “Helping Heroes: Canadians who made a difference in the world.’ In Canada’s History February- March 2013
Ethlyn Trapp Born July 18, 1891, New Westminster, British Columbia. Died July 31, 1972, West Vancouver, British Columbia . She graduated with her B.A. from McGill University, Montreal in 1913. During World War l she worked in military hospitals and earned her  MD at McGill in 1927. She  also studied in Europe, before she practiced in Vancouver. Using her own money, set up a centre to prove the benefits of radiotherapy in 1937. From 1939-1944 she served as Director, B.C. Cancer Institute.  She was the  1st woman president of the B.C. Medical Association in 1946/7 and in 1952 she was the 1st  woman president of the  National Cancer Institute of Canada. She was also president of the Federation of Canadian Medical Women. In 1963 she was awarded a citation from the Canadian Medical Association for her cancer research. She was inducted into the  Order of Canada in 1968. An art collector, she deeded her home, Klee Wyck, named for her artist friend Emily Carr, to West Vancouver as an arts centre. Source: Vancouver Hall of Fame (Accessed December 2012)
Mary Jane Wright  Born 1915, Strathroy, Ontario. Died April 23, 2014. In 1939 Mary earned her B.A. from the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario. By 1949 she had receiver her PhD in Child Psychology from the University of Toronto. During World War ll  she served in the United Kingdom developing care for evacuated British children. In 1946 she was a professor of Child Psychology at the University of Western Ontario. In 1959 she was the 1st woman director with the Canadian Psychological Association and in 1960 at UWO she became the 1st woman in Canada to chair a major psychology Department. In 1968 she served as President of the Canadian Psychological Association and would earn the Gold Medal for Lifetime contributions to the profession. She also served as President of the Ontario Psychological Society where she earned the Award for distinguished contributions to her profession. She was one of the few distinguished international persons to be elected a fellow of the American Psychological Association. She is well published in academic psychology. The UWO named the University laboratory I her honour. She has also been presented with the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal. Locally she was on the Board of the London Meals on Wheels, and the United Way. In 2007 she was the London YMCA Woman of Excellence. The Town of Strathroy has named a public School in her honour when she was 98 years of age. Source: Obituaries. Globe and Mail April 26, 2014; Laura Bell,(2010)  Mary Jean Wright In A. Rutherford (Ed.), Psychology's Feminist Voices Multimedia Internet Archive. Retrieved from http://www.feministvoices.com. Online (Accessed August 2014)  Suggestion submitted by June Coxon.
1960's
Marie Daria Haust. Born Poland, 1921. She earned her first medical degree at the university of Heidelberg, Germany, 1951. Since it was not acceptable for foreigners to practice medicine in Germany, Daria and her new husband Heinz L. Haust immigrated to Canada and she began the process of earning the right to practice in Canada. In the early 1950’s she enjoyed being at home with her two sons born in 1953 and 1955, while working part time towards her goals of practicing medicine. In 1959-1960 she worked as a post doctoral Fellow in Cincinnati, returning to Kingston in 1960 to become the 1st woman on the Medical Faculty at Queen’s University. In 1965 the family moved to the University of Western Ontario , London, Ontario. She became a welcome lecturer internationally and as well as a multitude of medical committees she was soon on the boards of five prestigious medical journals. Of all her positions she enjoyed working with her students and is perhaps proudest of her award as best teacher at UWO. Her list of awards is impressive and long: The Canada Council Killam prize in Medicine; the Gold Medal Award from the International Atherosclerosis Society; the Andreas Versalis award, University of Padua; Distinguished Pathologist Award, US/Canadian Academy of Pathology(2004) to name a few. In 2007 she received the Order of Canada. She is still involved with teaching as Professor emeritus at U.W.O.

Sylvia Olga Fedoruk. Born Canora, Saskatchewan May 5, 1927. Died September 26, 2012  Saskatchewan. An excellent academic achiever she established her reputation for achievement in nuclear medical research early in her career. She was instrumental in the development of the first cobalt radiation unit which is now in side use as a chemotherapy treatment for cancer. She was the 1st woman named to the position of Chancellor at the University of Saskatchewan. and 1st woman Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan  She was also the 1st  woman trustee of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and in 1973 she was the 1st  woman appointed to the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada. She was Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan from 1988 to 1994. A balanced achiever she enjoys sports and is a member of Canada’s Curling Hall of fame. She was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1986. Sources: “Ex-lieutenant-governor a cancer-care pioneer” by Jennifer Graham The Globe and Mail September 28, 2012

1980's
 
Elizabeth "Betty" MacRae Born Montreal, Quebec. 1941. She originally did her undergraduate studies in physical education and then switched to continue her studies in medicine at the University of Toronto In 1982 the young medical doctor moved to Calgary to practice as Canada’s 1st woman neurosurgeon. She is know for being straightforward and “tells it like it is” with all her patients. She is also an examiner with the Royal College of Physicians. She is married with two stepchildren and is discovering the joys of being a new grandmother. She works with the Canadian National Ski Team and enjoys mountain climbing. Retirement is perhaps on the horizon but for now she is dedicated to the profession that she says was where she was meant to be even if some men did not think so! Suggested source: Herstory: the Canadian Women’s Calendar 2007.
 
1990's
 
Cornelia Wieman Born Fort William, (now Thunder Bay) Ontario, 1964. She was raised on the Little Grand Rapids Reserve in Northern Manitoba. She studied for her Bachelor in Science and Masters in Science at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. She earned her Medical Degree at McMaster University in 1993 becoming Canada’s 1st female Aboriginal psychiatrist. May 25, 2006 she married Timothy Joseph. She was previously a Co-Director of the Indigenous Health Research Development Program and Assistant Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She provides psychiatric and consulting services to various mental health and social service agencies in downtown Toronto, including the new YWCA Elm Centre, a supportive housing complex for women living with mental health and addictions issues. She also serves on an advisory group to the Chief Public Health Officer of the Public Health Agency of Canada. Dr. Wieman received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 1998 for her work in improving the physical and mental health of Aboriginal Peoples. Source: Canadian Who’s Who, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2003)
 
Angela Enright Born 1947, Ireland. In 1970 she graduated from University College, Dublin, Ireland. In 1972 she moved to Canada. By 1977 she had completed her medical residency in Calgary, Alberta and had moved to Saskatoon to be chief of anesthesia at City Hospital. In 1994 she became the 1st woman to be president of the Canadian Anesthesiologists Society. In 2000 , Canada hosted the Congress of World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists and Angela headed up the organizing committee for this successful event. She tool the position of Medical Director of Anesthesia for Vancouver Island Health Authority along with teaching at the Universities of Victoria and British Columbia. 2005 found her working with the Government of Rwanda and the National University of Rwanda to develop post graduate anesthesia training programs. She also has her own full-time practice in clinical anesthesiology. Source: Herstory: the Canadian women’s Calendar 2008. (Saskatoon women’s calendar collective/Coteau Books, 2007)

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