Patients First® for over 100 years

Dr. Mary Percy Jackson at provincial doctor's cottage, Notikewan, AB, ca. 1925. Source: Glenbow Museum

If you visit the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) offices in Edmonton, you'll notice meeting rooms called Jackson, Brett, MacKay, Mewburn and Archer. These rooms honor Alberta physicians who provided exemplary care for their patients, often in isolated and difficult conditions.

In this section, you'll find stories about these and other pioneering Alberta doctors.

We are very grateful to AMA member and medical historian Dr. J. Robert Lampard. All of the stories in this section are adapted from his Alberta’s Medical History (2008). (You can order Dr. Lampard’s book by calling 403.346.0331 or emailing Dr. Robert Lampard.)

1900-50

1851-1900

Dr. John W. Scott, 1894-1982

Dr. John W. Scott, former Dean (1944), Faculty of medicine, University of Alberta (U of A), strongly believed “research should not be looked upon as a luxury but as a very necessary part of the activities of a medical school. It stimulates the minds of those who do it and makes them more dynamic and critical teachers.”

Dr. Earle Parkhill Scarlett, 1896-1982

Dr. Scarlett was in a class of his own as Canada’s scholarly medical historian or “medical truant” as he liked to be called.

Dr. James Bertram Collip, 1892-1965

Dr. James Collip played a vital role in the discovery of insulin.

Dr. Malcolm Ross Bow, 1887-1982

Serving as Alberta’s Deputy Minister of Health throughout the Depression, Dr. Malcolm Bow’s support for public health did not change despite hard times in the province.

Dr. J.J. (Johnny) Ower, 1885-1962

A physician who responded to Germany's first chlorine gas attack during World War 1, the first Professor and Chair of the University of Alberta's Department of Pathology and later Dean of Medicine, Dr. J.J. Ower played a key role in Alberta medicine over several decades.

Dr. Heber Carss Jamieson, 1879-1962

Athlete, novelist, medical historian and practical joker, Dr. Heber Carrs Jamieson was one of the first to track the legacy of the early Alberta medical pioneers.

Dr. Albert Ernest Archer, 1878-1949

Dr. Albert Archer was the founder of the first hospital in Lamont and an influential and early supporter of a national health program.

Dr. Allan Coats Rankin, 1877-1959

Dr. Rankin played a leading role in the development of a degree-granting University of Alberta medical undergraduate curriculum, guiding the faculty for its first 25 years. Earlier in his career, he took a more exotic route — researching beriberi in Thailand and working with troops in the trenches of the First World War.

Dr. Richard Barrington Nevitt, 1874-1878

Dr. Nevitt arrived in Alberta in 1874 after participating in the March West (a 1,600 km trek) from Manitoba with members of the newly formed North West Mounted Police.

Dr. John Sinclair McEachern, 1873-1947

Dr. McEachern helped to rescue the CMA from near bankruptcy in 1921 and to persuade the members of provincial medical associations to federate with the CMA to create a voice for all Canadian physicians.

Dr. George Henry Malcolmson, 1868-1944

Dr. Malcolmson cared for the victims of the Frank Slide disaster and was Alberta's first radiologist.

Dr. Henry George, 1864-1932

An early doctor in Calgary and Innisfail, Dr. Henry George treated Chief Crowfoot during his last illness.

Dr. Edward Ainslie Braithwaite, 1862-1949

Edward Ainslie Braithwaite was in the thick of the North-West Rebellion as an unofficial "medical officer" to troops and as one of the soldiers who escorted the captured Louis Riel to Regina for his trial. He later became a respected physician in Edmonton and was instrumental in building Edmonton's first hospital.

Dr. George Allan Kennedy, 1858-1913

Dr. George Allan Kennedy saved the life of a future prominent Alberta lawyer, both with surgery and by draining and dressing his infected chest following a gunshot wound.

Dr. Harry Goodsir Mackid, 1858-1916

Pioneering Calgary physician Dr. Harry Goodsir Mackid was a leader in communicable disease control and a partner in Calgary’s first group medical practice.

Dr. Frank Hamilton Mewburn,1858-1929

Dr. Frank Mewburn's first surgery in Lethbridge took place on a pool hall table with the local barber giving anesthesia.

Jane Flett MacKay, 1857-1947

Married to a doctor, Jane Flett MacKay acted as her husband's nurse and sometimes as a surgeon in her own right.

Dr. Robert George Brett, 1851-1929

When Dr. Brett worked for the CPR, many of his surgeries took place in a boxcar equipped as an operating room. Later, he founded his own hospital in Banff.

1800-50

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