WCH’s Department of Medicine - 100 Years of Teaching and Education

2020-11-13 11:44:49 AM

On Wednesday, November 18th, Women’s College Hospital (WCH) is proud to host the 2020 F.M. Hill Lecture – an annual event celebrating women physician leadership in academic medicine, which is held in honour of Dr. F.M. Hill, WCH’s former chief of medicine. This year’s event also holds special significance as it marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of WCH’s department of medicine.

Over the last one hundred years, our department of medicine has grown from a small department staffed by three women doctors to an academic teaching department affiliated with the University of Toronto (UofT), and is well known for its strong clinical, education, innovation, and research programs. Since its establishment in 1920, WCH’s department of medicine has been committed to providing quality teaching and education to learners – an important focus that was close to Dr. F.M. Hill’s heart.

As WCH entered negotiations with the University of Toronto to gain teaching hospital status, Dr. F.M. Hill joined the staff of WCH in 1958. She was appointed as WCH’s associate chief of medicine and was tasked with forming a teaching department. Dr. F.M. Hill, a WWII veteran, graduated with a medical degree from UofT in 1952 and held the distinction of being the first woman chief medical resident at Toronto General Hospital.

In 1959, WCH proudly announced that its department of medicine had reached an agreement and would begin to accept medical students from UofT that year. By the 1960s, Dr. Hill had already established forty dedicated beds for the bedside teaching of medicine. In 1965, she was appointed WCH’s chief of medicine, a position she held until 1984. Dr. Hill would later be awarded the Order of Canada partly in recognition of her “work in establishing strong teaching and patient care units” at WCH. She is also celebrated and remembered for her philosophy of teaching compassionate care. As Dr. Hill explained,

I would have the clinics with the clinical clerks, interns, and residents. When they were looking at the patient, they wanted to solve their medical problem but I wanted them to solve the person’s situation, and attend to that as well….This means really looking at the person as a whole.

Today WCH’s department of medicine continues to build on Dr. F.M. Hill’s legacy in teaching compassionate and patient-centred care. Through its numerous endowed chairs, named in Dr. Hill’s honour, and unique fellowship and residency opportunities, WCH’s department of medicine remains committed to teaching and mentoring the next generation of physicians in Canada.
If you would like to attend this year’s virtual F.M. Hill Lecture, please follow the instructions below. There is no need to register in advance.
Zoom Link: https://utoronto.zoom.us/j/98461404798
Meeting ID: 984 6140 4798
Password: 833150