Life on Campus / Winter 2014
Incredible Progress

A century of medicine at U of T


In the 1930s, anatomy lectures at U of T may have been low-tech, but they were as entertaining as any multimedia presentation. According to a new book about the history of the Faculty of Medicine, professor John Grant used to “draw the intricate organs of the body on the blackboard in living colour ambidextrously, both hands moving in sync at once.” This is just one of the colourful details Edward Shorter recounts in Partnership for Excellence: Medicine at the University of Toronto and Academic Hospitals (2013).

Shorter’s engaging volume covers more than 100 years in the faculty’s history, relating stories about students, professors, the partner research hospitals and untold research discoveries, from insulin to stem cells.

A decade after completing his PhD in history, Shorter enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine for two years to qualify him to write about medical topics. Today he is cross-appointed to both the history and psychiatry departments in recognition of his expertise. He hopes this book will illustrate why U of T Medicine has become a global leader: the unique collaboration with multiple hospitals right next to campus. “Nothing else quite like this exists,” he says.

Read an excerpt from Edward Shorter’s Partnership for Excellence: Medicine at the University of Toronto and Academic Hospitals:


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