Abbott, Maude E. (Maude Elizabeth), 1868-1940

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Abbott, Maude E. (Maude Elizabeth), 1868-1940

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Maude Abbott was born in St Andrew's, Quebec, and graduated with a B.A. from McGill University in 1890. One of the first women to obtain a bachelor's degree in arts from McGill University, Abbott was denied admission to the McGill Medical School, since women were not yet admitted, and subsequently attended the University of Bishop's College where she received her medical degree in 1894. Following postgraduate studies in Europe, Abbott returned to Montreal where she met the Chair of Pathology at McGill University, Dr. George Adami, who appointed her Assistant Curator of the Medical Museum in 1898. In addition to her efforts at curating and maintaining the specimen collection at the Medical Museum, Abbott became a renowned teacher and an expert in cardiac disease. In 1924 the Medical Museum and the Pathology Department were moved from Strathcona Building and Abbott was named curator of the new Central Medical Museum until her retirement in 1936. Abbott was a founding member of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada (FMWC), the International Association of Medical Museums, and helped develop and organize the Canadian Medical War Museum. Her main area of medical interest was pathology and she specialized in congenital heart disease. She taught in McGill's Department of Pathology from 1912 to 1935, was the first woman to be honoured by the Pathological Society of London and published her authoritative Atlas of Congenital Cardiac Disease in 1936. Her second vocation, one inspired and encouraged by Sir William Osler, lay in museum work and medical history. She was curator of the Medical Historical Museum at McGill and lectured and wrote on a variety of historical topics, her major publication being the History of Medicine in the Province of Quebec (1931).


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