Queen's University

Editor's notebook: A new building and new ideas

There have been some big changes to the streetscape on Stuart Street, the bustling thoroughfare that traverses the lower campus. For the past two years construction has been underway on a splendid new home for the School of Medicine. The opening of the $77-million, 11,600-square-metre facility, located at the intersection of Stuart and Arch Streets, will help to usher in a new era for the medical school and for the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Queen’s has been training doctors since 1854. Over those past 157 years, the medical school has graduated literally thousands of young men and women who have gone out to the four corners of the world to work their healing magic.

Some have enjoyed high-profile ­careers – I’m thinking here of the likes of the noted cancer researcher Elizabeth Eisenhauer, Meds’76, director of the ­Investigational New Drug Program at the NCIC Clinical Trials Group; Jason Hannah, BA’26, MD’28, LLD’74, who was a ­pioneer in prepaid medical care in Canada and was instrumental in founding the History of Medicine Chair at Queen’s, and John D. Hammett, MD 1919, who was the celebrity surgeon who cared for the New York Yankees in the 1950s and was Marilyn Monroe’s doctor when she was married to Joe DiMaggio.

Countless other Queen’s medical grads have gone about their work in relatively anonymity, quietly and efficiently caring for patients (40 per cent of doctors practicing in Eastern Ontario are Queen’s-trained!), doing innovative research, and generally improving and enriching people’s lives. Still others have taught or served as administrators at various medical schools, including Queen’s. Notable among the ­latter have been David Walker, Meds’71; Ford Connell, MD’29, LLD’74; and Garfield (“Gub”) Kelly, MD’40, LLD’84.

The University expanded its healthcare educational role in 1942, when the School of Nursing was started to help meet the growing wartime demand for trained nurses (RNs) to perform management functions. In 1979, the School of ­Rehabilitation Therapy (with Occupational Therapy degrees as well) was added to the mix and partnered with the Schools of Medicine and Nursing under the umbrella of what became known as the Faculty of Health Sciences.

The three schools combined now admit about 330 first-year students each fall. These are the chosen few from among thousands of qualified applicants. Comparatively speaking, the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s is one of the smallest programs of its type in the country. However, anything it lacks in size or because it is located in thinly populated eastern ­Ontario, it more than makes up for in other ways: the quality of academic, ­clinical, and continuing-education programing; the excellence of the faculty, the personalized instruction that students receive and, of course, the superb quality of the students themselves.
The opening of the new School of Medicine building is not the only change that’s afoot at the Faculty. The School is also about to introduce an innovative new curriculum that promises to revolutionize the way Canada’s doctors are trained.

Our cover story this issue, aptly titled “Rx for Excellence” (p. 20), is actually a ­series of articles that explore a range of issues and concerns and introduce you to some of the bright people who make the Faculty of Health Sciences such a ­special place.

As always, we welcome your comments or questions about these articles or anything else you read in the Review. Email review@queensu.ca.

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CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, Heather Bilkes, NSc’11, was identified in a photo caption in Issue #4-2010 (p.16) as being a “30-something single mother of three.” In fact, Heather is happily married, and what’s more, she notes that “my ­husband gave up so much for me so that I could go back to school.” The Review apologizes for the error. 

Queen's Alumni Review, 2011 Issue #1Queen's Alumni Review
2011 Issue #1
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