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McGill History: Maude Abbott

Maude Abbott Maude Abbott, one of many Abbott family members who made invaluable contributions to McGill, began her association with the University as an undergraduate student in 1886. She was part of the third class of women to graduate from the Faculty of Arts in 1890, and then went on to receive her MD from Bishops Medical School. After a period of travel and research, Dr. Abbott returned to Montreal in 1901, to fill the position of curator of the McGill Medical Museum. As she gained popularity for her memorable lectures in pathology at the museum, she also continued to make important advances in her research in cardiology, gaining recognition both worldwide - when travelling, for instance, medical professionals affiliated with McGill were invariably asked whether they knew Maude Abbott - and at home where Sir William Osler was a particularly vocal supporter of her work.

Maude E. Abbott by Mrs. C.H. Eastlake, 1940. MUA PR023278. Maude E. Abbott, School of Nursing. (photo n.d.). MUA PR023284. Caricature of Maude Abbott. (photo 1934). MUA PR028123.

In 1923, Dr. Abbott was invited to serve as the head of the Pathology department at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. Upon her return to Montreal she was appointed Assistant Professor at McGill’s Faculty of Medicine, a post which she held until her retirement in 1936. Long after her death in 1940, she is remembered as a brilliant researcher and a tireless voice in the struggle to admit women to McGill’s medical school.




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