2018 INDUCTEE Emily Stowe, MD The Early Days - Health Care Pioneers, Health and Medical Education & Training, Women in Medicine
May 1, 1831
(Norwich Township, Ontario)
April 29, 1903
MD, New York Medical College for Women (1867)
1959: Humanist of the Year (American Humanist Association)
1957: Honorary President of the World Federalist Movement-Canada
Pioneered women’s right to practice medicine in Canada
First woman to establish a medical practice and founder of the suffrage movement in Canada
In 1865, although opportunities for women to study medicine in Canada were limited, Emily Stowe applied to the Toronto School of Medicine. She was denied entry. Unable to study in Canada, she moved to the United States and enrolled at the New York Medical College for Women, a homeopathic institution. She obtained her degree in 1867 and returned to Canada, setting up her practice in Toronto. In so doing, Dr. Stowe became the first woman in Canada to establish a medical practice. For many years she was forced to practice without a license. She persevered, however, and on July 16, 1880 the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario granted her medical license. Dr. Stowe died in 1903 and is still remembers as a teacher, physician, suffragist, a defender of women’s rights and a champion for women in medicine.
Became a teacher at the age of 15 and the first female principal of Upper Canada at age 23
To receive her medical license in Ontario, she became one of the first two women to attend lectures at the Toronto school of medicine
Advocated for women’s rights in many fields, including women’s working conditions and access to higher education
Impact on lives today
When faced with repeated refusals to allow her to study in Ontario for her medical license, Dr. Stowe declared, “the day will come when these doors will swing wide open to every female who chooses to apply.” That day has come, and it is due to the perseverance and leadership of courageous women like Dr. Stowe.
Emily Stowe inducted posthumously into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
Represented by her great, great grandaughter Megaera Fitzpatrick - London, Ontario
The Dispensary was renamed Women’s College Hospital and Dispensary. Today, it is one of Canada’s leading hospitals.
The “Dispensary”, a medical clinic created to provide clinical experience for students of Women’s Medical College (WMC), opened.Health and Medical Education & Training
Not only did it offer WMC students’ clinical experience but also provided patients with an opportunity to see women physicians. This choice was a rare opportunity as medicine was a field dominated by men.
That Dr. Stowe is a trailblazer for women in Canada cannot be overstated.