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Dr. Jean Flatt Davey was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1909. She attended the University of Toronto, graduating from the Faculty of Medicine in 1936. Dr. Davey then completed a two-year medical internship at Toronto General Hospital and a year's residency at Women's College Hospital.
In 1939, Dr. Davey joined the staff of Women's College Hospital. She took a leave of absence during World War II, joining the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941. Dr. Davey was the first woman medical doctor to be granted a commission in the Canadian armed forces. She held the rank of Squadron Leader and was responsible for the health of the Royal Canadian Air Force's Women's Division. In 1943, she became an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of her wartime service.
Dr. Davey became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada in 1945. She returned to Women's College Hospital after retiring from the military in 1945, where she held the position of Associate Chief of the Department of Medicine. In 1950, she was promoted to Chief Physician, a position she held until 1965.
When Women's College Hospital became affiliated with the University of Toronto as a teaching hospital in 1958, Dr. Davey became the first woman to head a Department of Medicine at a teaching hospital in Canada. In 1965, she became the Director of Medical Training. She remained in this position until her retirement in 1973. In 1973, Dr. Davey was also awarded the Order of Canada in recognition of her outstanding medical and military careers.
Dr. Jean Flatt Davey died on March 13, 1980.