Dr. Norman Tait (“Tait”) McPhedran (1924-2012)


We have recently been informed through Faculty colleagues that a member of the founding Faculty of the Medical School and inaugural Chair of the Department of Surgery and Chief of Surgery at the Foothills Hospital, Dr. N. Tait McPhedran has passed away on March 13th, 2012. It was during his time as Head of the Surgery Department that the Calgary History of Medicine Program was inaugurated by a member of his department, Dr. Peter J. Cruse (1925-2004). Tait McPhedran was a strong supporter of the University of Calgary?s History of Medicine program which began in the Department of Surgery. He was a preceptor for students at the History of Medicine Days conferences for many years, and always asked insightful questions of the students after their conference presentations. He took part in the early regular meetings of physicians interested in history of medicine topics, out of which the Calgary History of Medicine Society (CHOMS) evolved. He was a former President of the Canadian Association of General Surgery (1981) and through his involvement with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and with Peter Cruse?s support, furthered research and writing significantly within the history of surgery and medicine in Canada. He was also published widely on history of medicine topics, with the most significant being on the aspect of the history of medical education in North America. Tait McPhedran?s most seminal book in this respect is: ?Canadian Medical Schools: Two Centuries of Medical History, 1822 to 1992?, Eugene Oregon: Harvest House (1993), written after he had taken a sabbatical year to research medical schools across the country. His impact on the vivid educational and research life at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Medicine will always be remembered and held in highest regard. Former colleagues and friends in Calgary will miss him very much.

Frank W. Stahnisch and James R. Wright, Jr.