75 years ago, in a cluster of tar-paper army barracks in Sandy Hill, the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine was born.

The Second World War had just ended. Finances were tight, and qualified professors were in short supply. "It is hard to imagine the myriad difficulties the founders of our faculty had to overcome," Dean Jean-Jacques Lussier would write, 25 years later. "it is marvelous that they were surmounted, one by one, and that the faculty, having reached adulthood, can look forward to such a brilliant future.”

Today, we continue to build that brilliant future. We stand proudly as one of the top medical schools in Canada, and one of the best faculties of medicine in the world for research impact in biomedical and health sciences.

You — our learners, alumni, faculty, staff and donors — made us what we are today. Join us throughout 2020 as we honour our fascinating past,  celebrate our inspiring present, and look forward to an exciting future with stories, photos and special events.

 Together, let’s pay tribute to the great things that come from humble beginnings.

Get to know our history by visiting this Flickr album of the MD class photos throughout the past decades. Do you recognize any familiar faces? Let us know by leaving a comment under the photo.

1940s Fun Facts

  • In 1945, 75 students applied to the pre-med program; 31 were accepted
  • In his inaugural lecture in Histology and Embryology on Sept. 26, 1946, Dr. Leonard Bélanger quoted PM MacKenzie King: “Over all nations is humanity.”
  • In 1946, uOttawa had to borrow cadavers for dissection from McGill, Université de Montréal, and Université Laval.
  • In 1949 Mme. Cécile Bélanger became head technician in the histology lab, a post she occupied for 30 years. She became known to students as “la sourire de l’histologie.”

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