Edward William Archibald

Edward William Archibald, surgeon, scientist, educator (b at Montréal 5 Aug 1872; d there 17 Dec 1945).

Archibald, Edward William

Edward William Archibald, surgeon, scientist, educator (b at Montréal 5 Aug 1872; d there 17 Dec 1945). Archibald was a gifted surgeon who recognized that advances in surgery must come through scientific research, and he changed the character of surgical education at McGill University and elsewhere from the purely clinical to the scientific. Part of his early schooling was in Grenoble, where he became bilingual, and which laid the foundation of lifelong ties with France. A McGill medical graduate, he became associated with the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montréal shortly after its opening. Eventually, he became surgeon in chief of the hospital and professor of surgery at McGill. McGill now has the Edward Archibald Professorship of Surgery. Archibald made important contributions to the surgery of pulmonary tuberculosis and is considered one of the forefathers of thoracic surgery in North America.

Archibald had his faults: they included an almost incredible degree of absentmindedness, with an inability to keep track of time. But even his faults seemed merely to increase the affection of his colleagues. One of them wrote, "O Edward you would be sublime/If only you could be on time."