Frontiers of Medicine: A History of Medical Education and Research at the University of Alberta

By Elise A. Corbet | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
The Meds -- and the Co-Meds

Student activities, female medical students and the Medical Alumni Association

TWENTY-SEVEN students registered in the first year of medicine at the University of Alberta in September 1913. They comprised a small percentage (6%) of the total student body of the young university, 434 at that time, but came from a similarly widespread geographic background. Half were from various centres in Alberta, and the remainder hailed from British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, and two from England. 1 The members of the first medical class were older than the usual run of students, they were "dependent on their own resources . . . and . . . were here for business." An all-male class, they felt they were "the stamp of men the West needs, those whose chief interest is the profession of their choice." 2

The class lost no time in becoming involved in university and medical activities. Bill Hustler was elected president of the class, they put together a plan to furnish a room in the newly opened South Side Hospital, and J.R. Hammond coached a basketball team whose achievements were "more modest than [their] ambitions." 3 When registration for the second year took place at 8:00 a.m. on 1 October 1914, however, only thirteen of the original class appeared. Over the next few weeks, two more returned, no doubt having to see the harvest in before they had the necessary funds to embark upon their second year. 4 The reason for the serious depletion in numbers can only be surmised, but it probably had much to do with events

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