Bicentennial Holmes Lecture: Tracing the History of Two Great Hospitals


On April 21, a special edition of the McGill’s Holmes VP-Dean Distinction Lecture was held: “McGill and Harvard: How the Opening of Two “Public” Hospitals Became the Anchor of Two Great Medical Schools”.

The lecture was a great success with close to 400 people attending this virtual event, co-presented by the Montreal General Hospital Foundation and the McGill Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. The presentation was given by Dr. Joseph B. Martin, MD, PhD, Edward R. and Anne G. Lefler Professor Emeritus of Neurobiology, and Dean of Harvard Medical School from 1997 to 2007. Dr. Martin discussed the fascinating story of how the Montreal General Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital – two public hospitals founded on similar principles – opened in the same year.

The lecture was hosted by Dr. David Eidelman, Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dr. Pierre Gfeller, President and CEO of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), Jean-Guy Gourdeau, President and CEO of the Montreal General Hospital Foundation, and Dr. Anne-Louise Lafontaine, Chief of the Department of Neurology of the MUHC, who facilitated the lecture.

Dr. Martin’s manuscript can be viewed here.

This event is part of a series of activities celebrating the Montreal General Hospital’s Bicentennial that is taking place over the course of 2021-2022. The bicentennial activities were launched on March 31st with a virtual exhibit that traces the hospital’s 200-year history:


Watch the Holmes Bicentennial Lecture:

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