Medicine: Maude Abbott

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Dr. Maude Abbott was born in a small town in Quebec in 1869 and was raised by her grandparents. She loved the challenge of learning and matriculated brilliantly from high school with a scholarship to McGill University. She was an outstanding Arts graduate, and applied to medical school. McGill would not admit women medical students despite public support and money for such an enterprise. However, Bishop's Medical College offered to take Maude as a student. She graduated with the Chancellor's Prize and Senior Anatomy Prize in 1894, and then went to Europe to study for three more years.

Back in Montreal, Maude set up practice and continued to research and write. She was gaining respect for her work on cirrhosis and heart murmurs, and was invited into the all-male Medico-Chirurgical Society.

In 1898 McGill appointed her assistant curator and then curator of the university's medical museum. Her work and demonstrations were so thorough and popular that they were placed on the curriculum as a compulsory part of the course.

Maude continued to research and write. She became internationally famous, particularly for her work on congenital heart diseases. In 1910, eight years before women medical students were admitted, McGill awarded her an honorary MD CM and appointed her lecturer in pathology. By 1923 Maude was assistant professor of medical research.

Maude died in 1940. She had published 104 medical writings and two books. She was remembered for being the world's greatest authority on congenital heart disease, a giant in her profession, and a pioneer for the acceptance of women into the medical field.


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