Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences: 200 years, 200 stories

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The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences' ongoing Bicentennial storytelling project, 200 Years, 200 Stories, aims to capture the tales, big and small, that make our Faculty what it is. We invite you to reflect on your time studying or training, teaching or working at the Faculty and send us your memory.

1821

The Montreal General Hospital and the founding of McGill’s first faculty

In a mutually beneficial arrangement, McGill College and the Montreal Medical Institution (MMI), a proprietary medical school established by four Montreal General Hospital (MGH) physicians, merged. The MMI became the College’s first faculty, and the MGH (which also celebrates its Bicentennial in 2021) its teaching hospital.

1843

The birth of obstetrics: the University Lying-in Hospital

The University Lying-in Hospital - established by McGill’s Faculty of Medicine (now the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences), hence its name, as a teaching hospital - offered poor, often unmarried or immigrant women, a safe place to give birth.

1890

Protestant Hospital for the Insane – now the Douglas – admits its first patients

The Protestant Hospital for the Insane was founded in 1881 to serve the English-speaking community of Montreal. Built on former farmland in Verdun, the hospital was completed and admitted its first patients in 1890.

1893

The Royal Victoria Hospital – the castle on the hill

The imposing Royal Victoria Hospital, built on the southern slope of Mount Royal on land donated in 1887 by rail barons Lords Strathcona and Mount Stephen, opened its doors in 1893. 

1904

Montreal’s first children’s hospital opens

The Children’s Memorial Hospital's (now the Montreal Children’s Hospital) leafy setting near Mount Royal was regarded as the perfect spot for its young patients, many of whom were suffering from respiratory diseases like tuberculosis, to recuperate.  

1909

The Montreal Chest Institute’s electrifying opening day

The Royal Edward Institute (now the Montreal Chest Institute), a hospital dedicated to treating and researching tuberculosis, was opened in Montreal in 1909. The opening was performed remotely by King Edward VII: with the flick of a telegraph switch, a transatlantic signal made the doors of the new hospital in Montreal, 3,000 miles away, swing open, the lights come on, and the flag fly up the flagpole.

1920

Nursing goes to university

In 1920, McGill’s School for Graduate Nurses welcomed its first students, in the shadow of World War I and the 1918 influenza pandemic, devastating events that had a catalyzing effect on the nursing profession. 

1934

Three hospitals in one year: St. Mary’s, the Jewish General and the Neuro

Despite falling in the middle of the Depression, 1934 was a particularly auspicious year for health care in Montreal, with the opening of three English-language hospitals.

1943

Leaders in physical and occupational therapy

The School of Physiotherapy was established in 1943 and was the first in Canada to be part of a faculty of medicine. Occupational therapy was introduced in 1950, and the school was renamed the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy (SPOT) in 1951. 

1963

Speech pathology innovators

The School of Communication Sciences and Disorders began its operation in September 1963 as part of the Division of Audiology and Speech Pathology of the Institute of Otolaryngology at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

1997

Merging to excel:  the creation of the MUHC 

Pressure on McGill's hospital network to consolidate administration and medical services resulted in a voluntary merger in 1997 to form the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC).

2003

RUISSS McGill: Caring for 1.9 million Quebecers, from north to south 

RUISSS McGill covers a large and varied territory of Quebec, stretching from Montreal to Nunavik in the far north.

2006

Canada’s first medical simulation centre

Using fake patients in very real situations, the Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning has helped thousands of health sciences learners test their mettle in a setting where they can ‘do no harm.’

2008: Our places

Build it and they will come – The Life Sciences Complex

The brainchild of a group of biomedical researchers who knew McGill needed to build state-of-the-art lab facilities and equipment if it wanted to attract the brightest minds to the university, the Life Sciences Complex opened its doors in 2008.

2015

The creation of the CIUSSSs: a new partnership for care, training and research  

In 2015, as part of a government reorganization of health care delivery, McGill was partnered with two CIUSSSs here in Montreal – CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal and CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal – for the purposes of health professional training and research.

2016

Together, to help heal the world

The School of Population and Global Health is the coming together of the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health; the Institute for Health and Social Policy; McGill Global Health Programs; and the Biomedical Ethics Unit.

2020

McGill opens Campus Outaouais

In August 2020, McGill's new Campus Outaouais welcomed its first cohort. For the first time in McGill’s long history, the teaching program at one of its campuses is taking place exclusively in French.

2020

McGill’s founding Faculty gets a new name – and two new Schools

Embracing change and the multidisciplinary nature of its vibrant health care and research community, the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences is (re)born.