Maude Abbott was a remarkable Canadian and a remarkable doctor, who lived during a time when women were not welcome in the field of medicine - many medical schools would not consider their applications.
However, Abbott was undeterred, and thanks to that the medical community was blessed by her groundbreaking analysis of congenital heart disease. In a career that spanned 46 years, she worked as a doctor, a researcher and as curator of the McGill Medical Museum, and published more that 140 papers and books. She also catalogued thousands of specimens - organs, hearts and body parts - and devised a classification system for them.
Abbott's chapter on congenital cardiac disease, which appeared in Dr. William Osler's Modern Medicine (published in 1908), established her as a world authority on the subject. In 1936 she published the Atlas of Congenital Heart Disease, where she described more than 1,000 cases, forming a solid foundation for the modern day study of heart surgery.
Abbott was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 1994, and she will always be recognized as one of the truly great contributors to the modern treatment of heart disease and a pioneer in pursuit of excellence. Her name continues to live on in the halls of the MUHC, this time as the name for the McGill Adult Unit for Congenital Heart Disease Excellence (MAUDE).
Links about Maude Abbott
Canadian Women in Science
Maude Abbott - Her Story
McGill University Archives