Dr. Ida Lynd - The Scholar

09/10/2018 10:47:03 AM

After graduating from the Woman’s Medical College (WMC) in 1890, Dr. Ida Lynd remained at the college as a faculty member. For fifteen years, Dr. Lynd taught classes on pharmacology, anatomy and obstetrics to the college’s all-female student body. However, she was keenly aware that the school’s curriculum lacked the necessary clinical training needed to enter the medical profession.

Although the WMC did make arrangements for its students to receive some practical “bedside” instruction at a few Toronto hospital and clinics, it was very limited due to the fact that most facilities could not or would not accommodate female medical students.

Not satisfied with the situation, Dr. Lynd and two of her colleagues, Dr. Jennie Gray and Dr. Susanna Boyle, established a clinic that provided the opportunity for the female medical students to receive clinical training. In 1898, the Women’s Dispensary opened at 205 Sackville Street, just three block from the college. Under the supervision of Dr. Lynd, Dr. Gray and Dr. Boyle, first year and second year medical students worked in the pharmacy. Students in their final years directly assisted with patients in the clinic.

The Women’s Dispensary became not only a valuable community resource for women and their families in Toronto, but more importantly for medical women, the Dispensary became essential part of their clinical training. Historical records indicate that from 1898 to 1911, there were over 41,000 patient visits made to the Women’s Dispensary. Its clinics were eventually integrated into Women’s College Hospital in 1911.

Dr. Ida Lynd joined the original staff of Women’s College Hospital and was appointed the hospital’s first Chief of Medicine.

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