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Dr. DeWitt

HELP FOR HALIFAX: How Nova Scotia’s physicians responded to the Halifax explosion

By Dr. Allan Marble

Books written about the Halifax explosion tend to focus on the exceptional contribution of the six American hospital units that provided medical and surgical services to the injured.

Medical outpost

ESTABLISHING MEDICAL OUTPOSTS: How the Red Cross brought health care to rural Nova Scotia

By Dr. Allan Marble

Following the Second World War, the Red Cross in Canada turned its attentions to providing health care for people in isolated communities.

Dr. Herbert Weaver

NOW YOU SEE IT: The arrival of radiology in Nova Scotia

By Dr. Allan Marble

On Nov. 8, 1895, Prof. Wilhelm Roentgen  at the University of Wiirzburg, Germany, demonstrated the existence of X-rays, showing that if they were caused to pass though a human hand, the bones in the hand would be rendered visible on a photographic plate. The news of this discovery's potential to aid in medical diagnosis quickly spread throughout the world. As early as February 1896, Prof. John Cox was using X-rays in clinical diagnosis at McGill University.

Dr. Maria Angwin


By Dr. Allan Marble

Prior to 1884, only two women in Nova Scotia practised medicine.

Dr. Rene Theophile-Hyacinthe Laennec

200 YEARS OF THE STETHOSCOPE: How René Laennec's invention changed medicine

By Dr. Allan Marble

A major improvement in the diagnosis  of the condition of the lungs and heart took place in 1816, the year that Dr. Rene Theophile-Hyacinthe Laennec invented the stethoscope. 

Dr. John W. MacDonald

A PUBLIC HEALTH PIONEER: How Dr. John W. MacDonald shaped public health in Nova Scotia

By Dr. Allan Marble

A slow start

Although recommendations concerning public health had been introduced in England by Edward Chadwick in 1842, and a Public Health Act passed there in 1848, Nova Scotia was slow to adopt the idea. In 1862, Dr. Charles Tupper, Halifax's City Medical Officer, recommended that sewage be disposed via underground drains, slaughter houses be removed from within city limits, and pure water be piped into every tene­ment.


REHOMING 100 YEARS OF MEDICAL HISTORY: The rescue and remediation of the Victoria General Hospital records

By Dr. Allan Marble

After more than a decade of being hidden away in a damp basement, records daring back co the opening of Halifax's Victoria General Hospital (VGH) in 1887 have been restored to the Nova Scotia Archives. As the tertiary-care hospital in Nova Scotia, citizens from all pares of Nova Scotia have been cared for at the VGH, and the records describe the development of health care in Nova Scotia over a 100-year period.

Dr. John Stewart

HONOURING A MEDICAL PIONEER: Dr. John Stewart brought Dalhousie's Faculty of Medicine to the international stage

By Dr. Allan Marble

The letters and personal effects of Dr. John Stewart, who 100 years ago commanded Dalhousie University's No. 7 Stationary Hospital on the battlefields of WWI and lacer helped bring Dalhousie's Faculty of Medicine co the international stage, have been preserved for posterity at the Nova Scotia Archives.


A PICTURE OF THE PAST: Found discarded on a dirty floor, a historic photograph provides a snapshot of Halifax's medical history

By Dr. Allan Marble

In 2012, while looking for historical records in the sub-basement of the MacKenzie Pathology Building, I found a composite photograph lying on the cement floor. I recognized it as the large framed photograph that had hung for many years in the main hallway on the west wall of the first floor of the Victoria General Hospital (VGH) building. But it no longer occupied a place of honour: Its frame was gone and it was lying near a puddle of water.


PAPER CHASE: The daybooks and ledgers of Dr. George Buckley return to Nova Scotia

By Dr. Allan Marble

It took two years and thousands of dollars, but a significant collection of medical records has made its way back to the province. Covering almost 70 years of Dr. George Buckley's medical practice in Guysborough, N.S., the doctor's daybooks and ledgers - now housed at the Nova Scotia Archives - are an invaluable resource for anyone who wants co learn about what it was like to practice medicine in rural Canada in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


Removed from Medical Society for endorsing Mi'kmaq smallpox cure

By Dr. Allan Marble

Dr. Frederick William Morris was one of a handful of Nova Scotia physicians who had, by vote of the membership, his name erased from the list of members of the Medical Society of Nova Scotia.

Naval Hospital

HALIFAX NAVAL HOSPITAL CONSTRUCTED IN 1872: Building improves conditions for wounded seamen

By Dr. Allan Marble

The state of Halifax's hospital was a concern for Nova Scotia's lieutenant-governor during the late 1700s.


Garrison Medical Library established in Halifax in 1817: With 501 books, 18 medical and surgical periodicals

By Dr. Allan Marble

While carrying out research in the Public Archives of Nova Scotia, I came across A Catalogue of the Halifax Garrison Medical Library, dated 1846. The cover page of the catalogue indicates the library was estab­lished in 1817. It had been my belief char the only medical libraries in Halifax prior to 1868 were the personal libraries of the physicians and surgeons practicing there. The existence of the Garrison Medical Library altered my opinion as to the availability of medical literature since it was both extensive and current in its holdings.

NS Large Hospital

NOVA SCOTIA HAD LARGEST HOSPITAL IN NORTH AMERICA FROM 1716-58: Established at Louisbourg by the French

By Dr. Allan Marble

It’s somewhat surprising chat from 1716-1758 the largest hospital in North America was located in Nova Scotia or, more correctly, the territory presently called Nova Scotia. One would have thought chat Boston, New York, or Philadelphia would have had a hospital much larger than any such structure in Nova Scotia. But the English, unlike the French, didn't consider it necessary to establish hospitals in its colonies.

Dr. Fraser-Harris

REVIVING DALHOUSIE'S FACULTY OF MEDICINE: How Dr. David Fraser-Harris transformed Nova Scotia's medical school

By Dr. Allan Marble

In October 1909, a Kentucky school teacher named Abraham Flexner arrived in Halifax to assess the medical program offered jointly by the Halifax Medical College (HMC) and Dalhousie University. Flexner had been hired by the Carnegie Foundation to survey the 155 medical schools in United States and Canada. In February 1910, Flexner's report was received by President John Forrest and the Medical Faculty at HMC. It wasn't good.

Thank you to:

Doctors NS
College of Physicians and Surgeons of NS
Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine

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