Dr. William Waugh (1851–1936): promoter of change in nineteenth century medical education and practice

Dr. William Waugh (1851–1936): promoter of change in nineteenth century medical education and practice

Can J Surg 2016;59(2):143-144 | PDF

Shelley McKellar, PhD

Summary

Dr. William E. Waugh (1851–1936) witnessed and actively participated in many changes in medical education and practice during his 6 decades in medicine. Trained as a surgeon and general practitioner, Waugh practised medicine in London, Ont., during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Early in his career, he embraced the new field of microbiology; refused outdated practices, such as bleeding; and dared to form a medical school despite strong criticism. Waugh was one of the founders of the Western University medical school, and he served various teaching and administrative roles in addition to maintaining a successful practice. He reminded students of the role of the physician’s senses, which he cautioned were in danger of being eclipsed, rather than supplemented, by the diagnostic instruments being adopted into clinical practice.


Presented in part as the 2015 Harvey Oration to the Harvey Club of London, Canada

Affiliations: The Jason A. Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, Ont., Canada

Competing interests: None declared.

DOI: 10.1503/cjs.002416

Correspondence to: Shelley McKellar; smckell@uwo.ca