The First woman admitted to Dentistry
Florence Johnston, the Faculty’s first female student, was a Montrealer who graduated in 1926.
In 1922 another significant event took place in the Faculty of Dentistry: it admitted its first woman student, which was not possible until 1918 due to the Faculty of Medicine policy the department was previously bound to. Florence Johnston, the Faculty’s first female student, was a Montrealer who graduated in 1926 and practiced general dentistry in Montreal for many years before dedicating her practice in pediatric dentistry.
This class photo is one of the few pictures of the Faculty’s first woman student that could be found. She seems to have been camera shy. We know that she was born and grew up in Montreal and was popular with her classmates who elected her class vice-president every year that she studied here. When she registered in 1922, she lived near the University on what became Jeanne Mance Street. Her arrival was significant; McGill banned women from studying medicine or dentistry until at least the end of the First World War and she came to the Faculty just two years after it became independent. She was 24 when she graduated and opened a general practice in the Medical Arts Building at the corner of Guy and Sherbrooke Streets. Then she moved to Westmount where she specialized in pediatric dentistry. Her graduation portrait hangs in the Mervyn A. Rogers Faculty Council Room