University Health Network - Academy of Medicine Collection
A black and white photo of a woman, she is standing sideways but looking into the camera, she wears a dark coloured overcoat with silver buttons that run the length of the front of the jacket and appear on the sleeves as well, she is holding a rolled up paper in her hand, she wears a light coloured…
A black and white photo of a woman, she is standing sideways but looking into the camera, she wears a dark coloured overcoat with silver buttons that run the length of the front of the jacket and appear on the sleeves as well, she is holding a rolled up paper in her hand, she wears a light coloured shirt and dark coloured hat, her eyes are light coloured and her dark-coloured hair is tied up under the hat.
Printed on the front: "HUNTER & CO. TORONTO"; handwritten on the back: "Dr. Helen McMurchy // [illeg.] McMurchy // D. Oct. '53, age 91"; printed on the back: "Hunter & Co. // Artists // & // Photographers // 107 // King St West, // Toronto."
Storage Room 2005
2005-5-7 Assorted Binder A, pg. 21 a
#1: Stable: On the front: slight soiling all over, slight fading of the photo, small tear on upper left edge; on the back: slight soiling.
Helen MacMurchy Born January 7, 1862. Died October 8, 1953. In 1901 Helen graduated with a medical degree from the University of Toronto and interned as the first woman doctor with the Toronto General Hospital. She went on to be the first woman doctor to do post graduate studies at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. In 1909 she conducted a survey of the high infant death rates experienced in cities at the turn of the century. In 1914 she wrote a popular book, 'A Little Talk About Baby'.
In 1915 she was appointed the inspector of the feeble minded in Ontario. Sadly her actions to persuade the government that eugenics was the answer to preventing degenerate babies led to the wrongful sterilization of many immigrants.
Helen was the first editor of the Canadian Nurses Journal. In 1920 she was placed in charge of the federal government’s new Division of Child Welfare and was responsible for the contents of some of the government published Blue Books with advice on caring for children. These little books were published in multiple languages including Cree.
It was in the 1920’s that she made a special study of medical inspection of schools, child welfare and public health in England and the United States.
In 1934 she was inducted as Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). In 1949 she was named one of the leading women doctors in the western world. In 1997 she was declared a Person of National Historic Significance.