History of Medicine
Ottawa General Hospital, circa 1920
The Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine, University of Ottawa was established in September 1977, by Associated Medical Services (AMS) with the appointment of Toby Gelfand as Hannah Professor. In 2002, the Jason A. Hannah Chair and Program in History of Medicine became endowed on a permanent basis as a result of the donation of matching funds from AMS and the University. A celebration marking the endowment of chairs of history of medicine in all five Ontario university medical faculties was held in Ottawa on April 11, 2003.
The Program in History of Medicine sees itself playing a mediating role between various constituencies: medical students and health science students (see Department of History, Faculty of Arts), undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral and resident house staff, practicing physicians, and the general public. Learning via lectures, seminars, Grand Rounds and is facilitated by local and external speakers. Beyond direct teaching, the Program seeks to promote activity by fielding inquiries and directing interested parties to where and by what means they can learn about History of Medicine. This may take the form of such diverse activities as regular interaction with the local Medical History Club of Ottawa, writing referrals and letters of recommendation, responding to inquiries from the press and other media, and directing personal papers, artifacts and private libraries to appropriate repositories.
An annual series of public lectures takes place during the winter semester (see Public Lectures). A rich collection of primary and secondary works in history of medicine is located in the main University library. In the past, valuable collegial input came in the form of several post-doctoral fellows and an Adjunct Professor. There were also visiting professorships and there still is provision for brief residency of a "visiting colleague".