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Former Maude Abbott Residence, St. Andrews East. (Photo - Ray and Diana Baillie)Doctor, researcher, teacher, writer, and curator: “It’s doubtful if any one person did more in her generation, to make McGill known throughout the medical world” than did Maude Abbott, who was born and raised in St. Andrews East.In 1890, Maude Abbott applied to the McGill Faculty of Medicine, which was not yet ready to allow a woman to enter. However, she was accepted by Bishop’s Faculty of Medicine (Montreal), and graduated as an M.D. in 1894.

Maude Abbott, who lived in this 19th century house, had an outstanding career, particularly in medical research (congenital heart disease) and as Curator of McGill’s Medical History Museum. When the McGill and Bishop’s medical faculties merged in 1905, McGill inherited its first woman doctor.In 1910, McGill finally recognized her talents and contributions with an honourary degree. On her retirement in 1936, it took the unusual step of awarding her another honourary degree for her pioneering work in medical museums and “as a champion of higher education for women.” She is the only person to be doubly honoured in this way.St. Andrews has a special place in Quebec history. It was the first main settlement up the Ottawa River; the first paper mill in Canada was established here; the first Canadian-born Prime Minister, John Abbott (a distant cousin), was born here; and, of course, it was the home of Dr. Maude Abbott.