Women’s History Month 2022

This month marks the 30th anniversary of Women’s History Month. We are proud to honor the courageous women who changed the landscape of women’s healthcare forever with their outstanding achievements. Today, we honour the trailblazer and founder of Women’s College Hospital, Emily Stowe.

Dr. Emily Stowe, 1953

In 1865, a young woman named Emily Stowe was flatly denied admission to the University of Toronto’s School of Medicine because she was a woman. At that moment, Emily made a commitment to fight for the right of Canadian women to receive a medical education.  

After receiving her medical degree in the United States, she returned home and fiercely advocated to open an institution dedicated to medical training for women. Dr. Emily Stowe, and her supporters argued that providing women with opportunities to gain access to medical education not only benefits women but is a “public necessity and in the interests of the community.” In 1883, Dr. Stowe’s long-held vision became a reality with the opening of Woman’s Medical College, the predecessor to Women’s College Hospital – the first place in Canada where women could study medicine, and where women in the community could receive care from female physicians. 

Today, Women’s College Hospital honors Emily Stowe’s determination for access to education with The Emily Stowe Society, a community of individuals, foundations and corporations dedicated to breaking down barriers to careers in health sciences research for bright young minds in Canada. 

Dr. Emily Stowe’s grit and determination paved the way for the countless women leaders in the field of medicine who followed her, and her legacy continues to inform our hospital’s values today.