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History of the Calgary Cumming School of Medicine

History of the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine (now the Cumming School of Medicine) blog:

http://uofcfacultyofmedicinehistory.blogspot.ca/


Created in 1967, with the first students admitted in 1970, the University of Calgary's Cumming School of Medicine is one of the youngest medical schools in Canada. Read more.

In the spring of 2009, the UofC Cumming School of Medicine paid tribute to its founders, faculty members who worked behind the scenes in the late 1960s to establish a new medical school on a bald prairie. Read more.

For the 40th Anniversary Activities at the UofC Medical Faculty (October-29, 2010), please click here. During the program break between 4 and 6 pm, two "History of Medicine Walks" will be offered by Dr Stahnisch (Historian of Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine) together with Mr. Denis Slater (Archivist, Alberta Health Services).


The University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine is one of the younger medical schools in Canada, which had been created roughly forty years ago – in 1967. Primarily conceived as a higher learning institution to train family physicians, at a time when there was a perceived shortage, it has moved beyond this by evolving into a school that educates physicians for a great spectrum of activities: from primary care to specialty care; to careers in education, management, and research.

Image of the opening of the Health Sciences Centre at Foothills Hospital, March 1970Image of the opening of the Health Sciences Centre at Foothills Hospital, March 1970


The school has seen many infrastructural changes occur since its inception. Originally housed on the University’s main campus, students in the class of 1975 were the first to start their program in the newly constructed Health Sciences Building, built adjacent to the Foothills Hospital. The advent of the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) in the early 1980s brought with it the opportunity to expand the Cumming School of Medicine with research expertise.

The Footshills Hospital in Calgary, AB, in 1974: Picture of the Foothills Hospital taken in March 1974The Foothills Hospital in Calgary, AB, in 1974


Taking advantage of this opportunity, the Faculty recruited more than 100 well-trained biomedical and health care researchers. In order to house these researchers, the Heritage Medical Research Building was built in November of 1987 with funding made available by the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research. On April 22nd, 2005, the University of Calgary then saw the inauguration of the new O’Brien Centre for the Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) Program, with innovative educational and research facilities in an undergraduate degree.It is part of the Cumming School of Medicine, but has also close ties to many other Faculties on Main Campus, to local institutions and the Alberta Health Services. In 2004, the Cumming School of Medicine further witnessed the establishment of its “sister faculty” in the Foothills complex, the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM). The first professors and researchers of the UCVM were recruited in the following year and the inaugural graduate students program started in 2006. Last year – 2008 –, the first undergraduate DVM class has begun its education in Calgary, with the commencement of the academic year in September.

Throughout the years, the Cumming School of Medicine of the University of Calgary has thus grown and developed into an internationally recognized education and research facility. It takes pride in its multidisciplinary approach to medical research, education and patient care. This structure has allowed for the tight sharing of knowledge between doctors and researchers, and it fostered the transfer of knowledge from the laboratory to the bedside of patients.

More information can be gained through The Alberta Medical History Collection project.


On April 13, 2010 the 12th Induction Ceremony and Dinner of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame took place at Calgary. It was the first time that this prestigious event was ever held in this city, and one of the six inductees honored at the ceremony was Dr. William A. Cochrane, OC AOE.  He had been the founding Dean of the Medical Faculty, when the medical school opened in 1970. To see a video on Dr. Cochrane, please click here.

The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in London, ON has further produced an Alberta Medical Heritge video, which features the history of the two medical schools in this province as well as the larger history of medicine in Alberta. To watch this additional video, please click here.

Deans from the Cumming School of Medicine spanning four decades gathered for an intimate lecture on Friday, October-29, 2010 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first medical school class admitted into the Faculty. The room was filled as more than one hundred alumni, current faculty and students came together to listen to the speakers tell anecdotes, recall challenges and comment on the future growth of the school.


A selected bibliography, which places the University of Calgary’s Medical Faculty in its historical context (compiled by Dr Frank W. Stahnisch & Diane Lorenzetti, 2010):

Anonymous, "University of Calgary Students Keen to Revisit Medical History," Canadian Medical Association Journal 156/5 (1997), p. 628.

Alberta Association of Registered Nurses, Collection of Facts for History of Nursing, 1864-1942 (Edmonton: The Association, 1942).

Anonymous, "Canada's Medical Schools: University of Ottawa and University of Calgary," Canadian Medical Association Journal 110/3 (1974), p. 358.

Greg Basky, Calgary and Saskatoon Health Regions, Medical Schools forge Alliance," Canadian Medical Association Journal 166/1 (2002), p. 82.

Geertje Boschma, Faculty of Nursing on the Move:  Thirty Years of Nursing Education, Research and Science at the University of Calgary, 1969-2000 (Calgary: University Press, 2005).

Heather E. Bryant, Penny E. Jennett, and Michael Kichinevsky, "Gender, Family Status and Career Patterns of Graduates of the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine," Academic Medicine 66/8 (1991), pp. 483-485.
 
Calgary Associate Clinic, Historical bulletin: notes and abstracts dealing with medical history (Calgary: Calgary Associate Clinic 1944-1957).

William A. Cochrane, "Philosophy and Program for Medical Education at University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine," Canadian Medical Association Journal 98 (1968), pp. 500-505.

Sylvain Coderre, Wayne Woloschuk, Janet Tworek, Pamela Veale, Joann McIllwrick, and Bruce J. Wright, "University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine," Academic Medicine 85/9 (2010), Suppl., pp. S615-S617.

Arty R. Coppes and Ian Mitchell, The Child in the Centre: Seventy-Five Years at the Alberta Children's Hospital (Calgary: Calgary University Press, 1997).

Max J. Coppes, "Southern Alberta Children's Cancer Program," Pediatric Hematology and Oncology 16/6 (1999), pp. 501-507.

Elise A. Corbet, Frontiers of Medicine.  A History of Medical Education and Research at the University of Alberta (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 1995).

Peter Cruse, William Whitelaw, Melanie Stapleton, and Frank W. Stahnisch et al., eds., Proceedings of the Calgary History of Medicine Days (Calgary: University of Calgary, 1997-2009).

Rodney A. Crutcher, "The Alberta International Medical Graduate Program: Context, Mandate, Process and Impact," Canadian Issues/Themes Canadiens (2007), pp. 90-95.

Andrew Dickson, John H. Read, John W. Dawson, and William A. Cochrane, "Planning for Medical Education at University of Calgary," Canadian Medical Association Journal 100/14 (1969), pp. 665-666.

John S. Gardner, "Earle Parkhill Scarlett (1896-1982)," Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 1/1 (1984), pp. 107-114.

Dawna Gilchrist, University of Alberta, Department of Medicine. The History of the Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta (Edmonton: University of Alberta, 2004).

Evelyn Hardwick, The science, the art and the spirit: hospitals, medicine and nursing in Calgary (Calgary: Calgary Century Publications).

Robert Lampard, Alberta’s Medical History, ‘Young and Lusty, and Full of Life’ (Red Deer: Historical Society of Alberta, 2009).

Laurie Meijer Drees, "Reserve Hospital and Medical Officers: Health Care and Indian Peoples in Southern Alberta," Prairie Forum 21/2 (1996), pp. 149-176.

Laurie N. Gottlieb, "A Tribute to the Calgary Family Nursing Unit: Lessons that go beyond Family Nursing," Canadian Journal of Nursing Research 39/3 (2007), pp. 7-11.

David B. Hogan, "History of Geriatrics in Canada," Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 23 (2007), pp. 131-150.

Heber Jamieson, Early Medicine in Alberta: The First Seventy-Five Years (Edmonton: Canadian Medical Association, Alberta Division: 1947).

Eleanor King Byers, Guardians of the Lamp: The Calgary General Hospital and its Nursing School Remembered (Calgary: Eleanor King Byers, 2009).

Henry Mandin, Peter Harasym, Chris Eagle & Mo Watanabe, "Developing a Clinical Presentation Curriculum at the University of Calgary," Academic Medicine 70 (1995), pp. 186-193.

Gerald M. McDougall, Mary R. Nemeth, Jocelyn M. Lockyer et al., Teachers of Medicine: the development of graduate clinical medical education in Calgary (Calgary: G. M. McDougall, 1987).

Dixon McHutchion, "Early Community Health Nursing in Alberta," Alberta Association of Registered Nurses Newsletter 49 (1993), pp. 11-12.

Eileen M. McNeil, "Women of Vision and Compession: The Foundation of Health Care in Calgary," Alberta History 50/1 (2002), pp. 17-25.

Jack Peach, A Shelter from the Winds of Illness: Foothills Hospital, 1966-1991: Celebrating a Quater Century (Calgary: Foothills Hospital, 1991).

Jack Peach, Calgary District Hospital Group - In Sickness and In Health: Holy Cross Hospital: Celebrating our First Century of Caring (Calgary: Calgary District Hospital Group, 1991).

Anthony Rasporitch, Make no small plans:  The University of Calgary at forty (Calgary: The University of Calgary, 2007).

Sharon L. Richardson, "Frontier Health Care: Alberta's District and Municipal Nursing Services 1919 to 1976,"  Alberta History 46/1 (1976), pp. 2-9.

Sharon L. Richardson, "'Stand up and be counted': Nursing at the Calgary General Hospital after the Second World War," Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 18/2 (2001), pp. 297-323.

Alfred Rothwell, Love and Good Sense: The First Half Century of the Salvation Army Grace Hospital, Calgary 1926-1976 (Calgary: Alfred Rothwell, 1976).

Heather Sadler, Ernest Kennay, and George Matheson, Calgary General Hospital Editorial Committee. Calgary General Hospital, 1890-1955: Sixty-Five Years of Community Service (Calgary: Calgary General Hospital, 1955).

Earle Parkhill Scarlett, In Sickness and in Health: Reflections on the Medical Profession (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1972).

John W. Scott, The History of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta, 1913-1963 (Edmonton: University of Alberta, 1963).

Donald B. Smith, Calgary’s Grand Story: The Making Of A Prairie Metropolis From The Viewpoint Of Two Heritage Buildings (Calgary: Calgary University Press, 2005).

Francine Smith, Peter Harasym, Henry Mandin & Fritz Lorscheider, "Development and Evaluation of a Research Project Program for Medical Students at the University of Calgary, Cumming School of Medicine," Academic Medicine 76 (2001), pp. 189-194.

Frank W. Stahnisch, "Some Milestones from a Century of Brain Research in the Province of Alberta, 1910 to 2010". In: ISHN and Cheiron, eds., First Joint Conference of the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences and the International Society for the History of the Behavioral & Social Sciences (Calgary: University of Calgary 2011), pp. 24-30.

Troy, M. Tuszewski, "Early Medicine and Surgery in Calgary," Canadian Journal of Surgery 19 (1976), pp. 449-453.

The University of Calgary, History of Medicine. Collected Papers by The University of Calgary (Calgary: Cumming School of Medicine, 1985-86).

Michael H. Weber and Steve E. Jarvis, "The University of Calgary and University of Manitoba MD-PhD Exchange Initiative," Clinical and Investigative Medicine 25/5 (2002), pp. 175-177.

Lorne S. Williams, "University of Calgary Marks 25 Years of Medical Training," Canadian Medical Association Journal 153/7 (1995), pp. 984-985.

D. Robert Wilson, William B. Parsons, Carl F. Bethke, and Heber C. Jamieson, Early Medicine in Alberta, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta: 75th Anniversary (Edmonton: Alberta Medical Foundation, 1993).

George Wyse and Eldon R. Smith, "Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Calgary: A Vignette of Recent History," Canadian Journal of Cardiology 6/2 (1990), pp. 50-52.


Research Project II: The History of the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine – Its First Fifty Years as a New Medical School in the Province of Alberta

History of the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine

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