History of Medicine: People and projects

Get to know our endowed Hannah Chairs and other
funding recipients. Be inspired by their work.

Hannah Chairs

Through permanent endowment these eight professors teach the history of medicine in healthcare education. Learn about their exceptional backgrounds and research interests.

Dr. Ellen Amster

Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine at McMaster University

Dr. Edward Shorter

Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine at UofT

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Lucy Vorobej

2023 Post-Doctoral Fellowship

“Volunteers Don’t Wear Price Tags”: Compensation Discourses and the Hospital Volunteer in 20th Century Health Care

The COVID-19 pandemic is only the most recent global health crisis to highlight that even those workers who are deemed to be “essential” to health care may not all receive compensation consistent with this proclaimed value. Within this vital workforce are those who receive no compensation at all, volunteers. Despite the inclusion of “hospital volunteer”…

Eric Story

2023 Post-Doctoral Fellowship

The Great White Plague: Canada’s War on Tuberculosis, 1939–52

At the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, Canadian officials employed X-ray screening to ensure a healthy fighting force and, later, to decrease state liability for those who might have enlisted with pre-existing tuberculosis disease. Despite these preventative measures, the Canadian government discovered that members of the Canadian armed forces suffered far greater…

Matthew Barrett

2023 Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Visualizing the Invisible Wound: Graphic Medicine and the History of War Trauma

Matthew’s project titled “Visualizing the Invisible Wound”examines the historical representations of war trauma using a methodology that combines graphic history and graphic medicine. As an historian and an artist, Matthew is interested in exploring graphic and illustrated storytelling as creative forms of historical interpretation and analysis.The idea of an invisible wound in contrast to a…

Jennifer Fraser

2021 Post-Doctoral Fellow

Epidemiology Ad Nauseum: Risk, Reasoning, and Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Jennifer’s project highlights the highly contingent nature of HG risk and draws attention to the specific science-society configurations that have impacted how women’s symptoms have been both understood and managed by Canadian healthcare professionals over time.

Stephen Pow

2021 Post-Doctoral Fellow

The Global Challenge of Cholera in the Nineteenth Century: Standard Narratives and New Perspectives on Societal Responses and Medical Notions

Stephen’s project brings together trends in public health, environmental, and Asian history, while strengthening new methodological insights and approaches. Based on historical research, the project highlights how globalization trends brought new challenges in containing cholera.

Cynthia Tang

2021 Post-Doctoral Fellow

“A Short Cut to Better Services”: A History of Day Surgery and Post-Operative Patient Care in the British National Health Service, c. 1950-2000

This project will reconstruct the history of day/outpatient surgery in Britain and consider its adoption in the context of the 1990s National Health Service reforms. As Canadian healthcare increasingly transitions to the use of outpatient approaches as a strategy for decreasing long surgical wait times, a better understanding of their adoption and outcomes in other healthcare systems will be instructive.

Doctoral Research

Jody Hodgins

2023 Doctoral Research

Meeting Demands for Animal Healthcare: Veterinary Medicine in Rural Southern Ontario, 1862-1939

Before veterinarians populated the countryside, people had limited access to health knowledge and relied on experienced neighbours or medical doctors to practice animal healthcare. Jody’s dissertation examines the interdependence between animal, human, and environmental health to show advancements in public health and the role veterinary medicine had in shaping our current understanding of modern medicine…

Erin Gallagher-Cohoon

2023 Doctoral Research

Queerly Familial: Canadian Histories of Queer Reproduction, Parenting, and Activism

Erin’s dissertation analyzes Canadian histories of queer parenting and queer family formations in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Drawing from psychological, legal, media, policy and oral history sources, my research questions sociocultural constructions of the categories of “family” and “parenthood.” This dissertation sits at the intersection between histories of medicine, histories of sexuality, and…

Justin Fisher

2023 Doctoral Research

Saskatchewan’s Power: Technology, health, and democracy during the Energy Crisis, 1971-1982

The 1970s energy crisis launched a decade of debate over the impacts of new energy developments in Saskatchewan. Home to an abundance of diverse energy resources including fossil fuels, uranium, hydro, and exceptional renewable energy potential, the province was well-positioned to take advantage of surging global demand for new and accessible energy sources. However, people…

Lucy Vorobej

2021 Doctoral Completion Award

“By Their Own Efforts”: First Nations Health Policy in Canada, 1945-1980

Lucy’s project examines the development and implementation of First Nations health policy during Canada’s post-war period of integration. It analyzes how the idea of race and the objectives of settler colonialism impacted debates about jurisdiction, affected the nature of health services offered to First Nations peoples, and limited the creation of meaningful partnerships with First Nations leaders.

Ceilidh Auger-Day

2020 Doctoral Completion Award

Navigating Canadian healthcare before Medicare

Ceilidh Auger-Day researches how Canadians made individual health-related decisions when facing injury or illness between 1900-1940.

Martin Beaulieu

2020 Doctoral Completion Award

The therapeutic use of cinema to treat mentally ill patients (1895-1950)

Martin Beaulieu examines the therapeutic use of cinema by the mental health professions, trying to understand why and how the cinema was considered a therapeutic tool to treat mental disorders.

Project Grantees

These grantees received small budget support for projects in history of healthcare/disease and medicine.

Robert Paul

2023 Project Grant

#TeamVaccine: Exploring the History of Toronto’s COVID-19 Vaccination Initiative through Social Media

In 2021, Toronto’s healthcare institutions – its academic hospitals, community health centres and faculties of health sciences – came together to plan, coordinate, staff and promote large-scale COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Toronto and in its surrounding areas. The size, the scale and the collaboration of this vaccine campaign were unprecedented in Toronto history. Through interviews…

David Monteyne

2023 Project Grant

Quarantine Stations and Lazarettos: Histories of Architecture and Public Health

Quarantine – or spatial segregation – was one of the first and only solutions for public health prior to the late 19th century. The quarantine of groups suspected of carrying diseases began to be formalized in the late medieval Mediterranean. These early public health policies and practices immediately led to the requirement for quarantine spaces:…

Kenton Kroker

2023 Project Grant

Innovation, Expertise, and Equity: Creating Sleep Medicine within Canada’s Universal Health Care System, 1970–2000

Sleep complaints are ancient, but it was only during the 1970s and ‘80s that sleep began to emerge as a sub-specialty of medical practice. Canadian clinicians were on the cutting edge of this development, but this story remains unwritten. Sleep medicine evolved in tandem with the divergence of Canadian and American systems of state medical…

Michelle Hamilton

2023 Project Grant

Medical Instruments as Authority and Knowledge: A Research and Documentary Project

The Medical Artifact Collection at Western University stores approximately 1300 objects with an adjacent teaching space and curates six exhibit cases. ‘Medical Instruments as Authority and Knowledge’ will combine published and archival sources, our artifacts, and past and new oral history interviews of physicians to betterunderstand the role of instruments in medical practice. Did medical…

Jacalyn Duffin

2023 Project Grant

History of Medicine: A Scandalously Short Introduction

History of Medicine: A Scandalously Short Introduction (3rd ed. 2021) is the product of a long career of research and teaching, supported by AMS. But it is not accessible to francophones in Canada or elsewhere. Jacalyn’s project will provide a French-language edition of this popular introductory textbook, which is aimed at students in the health-care…

Efrat Gold

2022 Project Grant

Archiving Patient-Led Mad Activism in Canada, 1970s-2020

Efrat’s project is designed in two segments. The first segment involves the curation of mad-centered archival material not yet available in the public domain. The second is an original research segment, using critical discourse analysis of the archival material, that seeks to enhance understandings of the crucial and active role of mental patients in shaping…


Imperial pathways of mobility: doctoring women and the American surgical enterprise in Iran, 1888-1940

Lydia Wytenbroek
The University of British Columbia

History of vaccine resistance in Canada

Catherine Carstairs
University of Guelph


How to save a life: Investigating gendering biomedical innovation

Dr. Sandra Hyde
McGill University

“Illustrer le travail du coroner, du médecin légiste et de l’historien : défis et enjeux de l’histoire du geste suicidaire au Québec depuis 250 ans.”

Dr. Isabelle Perreault
University of Ottawa

Health and medicine in the Maritimes 1765-1830: Knowledge, networks, and practices in an age of revolution and loyalism

Dr. Wendy Churchill
University of New Brunswick

Exploring ethics and Canadian clinical cancer trials, 1978-1998

Fedir Razumenko

Caring for the Commonwealth: Nurses, Doctors and the Colombo Plan of the 1950’s

Dr. Wendy Churchill
University of New Brunswick

A short history of global/international health in the Americas: Canadian perspectives

Dr. Anne-Emanuelle Birn
University of Toronto


Diversity of research traditions in the history of autism

Dr. Margo Vicedo
University of Toronto

Life before medicare

Dr. Jenna Healey
Queen’s University

The history of the Hornby and Danman Community Health Care Society, 1978-2010

Dr. Megan Davies
York University

False faces: Examining the cultural history of cosmetic surgery

Kathryn Schweishelm

Healing the body to save the soul: Jesuit medicine in 17th century Asia

Oana Baboi

Manuscripting English medical knowledge in the early age of print

Lori Jones


Creating a Centre for Science, Technology, Environment and Medicine Studies (C-STEMS) at the University of Calgary, AB

Dr. Frank Stahnisch
University of Calgary

The origins and uses of a verbal artifact in clinical medicine, 1920-2000

Dr. Michel Shamy
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Colonial extractions: Oral health, Indigenous Peoples and the federal government

Dr. Catherine Carstairs
University of Guelph

Childhood hand hygiene education and responsible motherhood in Canada, 1910-1979

Dr. Emma Whelan
Dalhousie University

Indigenous mental health workers and the challenges of cross-cultural psychiatry at the Sioux Lookout Zone Hospital, 1969-1996

Dr. Gerald McKinley
Western University

Exploring the history of natural childbirth in Canada and the world

Whitney Wood


Dr. Sasha Mullally
University of New Brunswick

Dr. Jacalyn Duffin
Queen’s University

Dr. Elizabeth Neswald
Brock University

Dr. Catherine Carstairs
University of Guelph

Canada’s health humanitarian work in South and Southeast Asia, 1950-1968.

Jill Campbell-Miller

Examining interwar veterans and healthcare in Alberta

Will Pratt


Patient involvement in Canadian medical education: A historical study to inform the future

Dr. Angela Towle PhD, BSc
University of British Columbia

Mindfulness and emotionally healthy students in Canadian schools, 1960s to the present

Dr. Catherine Gidney PhD, MA, BA
St. Thomas University

Frances Oldham Kelsey, M.D., Ph. D.: From Cobble Hill to the F.D.A.

Dr. Cheryl Warsh PhD, MA, BA
Vancouver Island University

From brains on the bench to images of mind? A critical appraisal.

Dr. Frank Stahnisch PhD, MD, MSc, BA
University of Calgary

Exploring LSD Psychotherapy in the United States, 1949-1976

Matthew Oram

Interpreting the genetic revolution

Devon Stillwell

Apply for funding

Are you doing important work in this area? Have a timely idea that needs funding? Our grants and fellowships can support your projects and help you access valuable networks.