Toronto General Hospital. Division of Neurosurgery

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Toronto General Hospital. Division of Neurosurgery

Parallel form(s) of name

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Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1924-1988

History

Neurosurgery was established as a division of the TGH Department of Surgery in 1924 when Dr. Kenneth G. McKenzie was appointed to the TGH medical staff as Canada’s first dedicated neurosurgeon. In 1988 the Division became part of The Toronto Hospital Division of Neurosurgery. The Division was physically dissolved in 1990 and was subsumed as part of The Toronto Hospital Department of Neurosurgery at the Toronto Western Division.

The Division grew steadily during the 1920s and in 1930 Janet MacMillan was appointed as the first OR nurse dedicated to neurosurgery, while Dr. W.S. Keith became the first neurosurgical resident. In 1936 Dr. McKenzie’s application for an operating room for the exclusive use of the Division of Neurosurgery was granted by the Board of Trustees. It was built at basement level on the south side of the main building (later called the College Wing) beneath Ward D, and was therefore known as “D” OR. At the same time as this dedicated neurosurgical OR was established at TGH, Dr. E. Harry Botterell was appointed to the medical staff as junior neurosurgeon. A second operating room was added in 1951 with adjoining office for Mrs. Anne Pyke, the divisional secretary.

In 1952 Dr. McKenzie retired as Head of the Division and was succeeded as Head by Dr. Botterell, who developed a special interest in cerebrovascular surgery and especially the treatment of cerebral aneurysms. Dr. McKenzie died February 11, 1964. Neuroradiology was established as a specialty in the neurosurgical service in 1945 when Dr. Douglas C. Eaglesham was appointed as neuroradiological specialist. Dr. Eaglesham was succeeded by Dr. Delbert C. Wollin (1948-1959) and Dr. George Wortzmann (1959-?).

The neurosurgical residency program established in 1930 trained dozens of neurosurgeons: “neurosurgical trainees were Assistant Residents for 6 months followed by usually 18 months in the Chief Resident position. The Chiefs continued until they were felt by Drs. McKenzie and Botterell to be competent neurosurgeons.”

The new neurosurgical unit at the TGH, located in the Center Block building (now the Norman Urquhart Wing), was occupied in 1957 and officially opened November 8, 1958. In [1957?] Jessie Young was appointed Head Nurse in the neurosurgical unit.

In 1952 Dr. Thomas P. Morley was appointed junior neurosurgeon. When Dr. Botterell left TGH in 1962 to become Dean of Medicine at Queen’s University, Dr. Morley became Head of the Division of Neurosurgery, and then in 1964 was appointed Chairman and Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto. Dr. Morley was instrumental in expanding the neurosurgical residency program and in developing the specialization of tumor surgery.

Another prominent figure associated with the TGH Division of Neurosurgery is Dr. Alan Hudson. Dr. Hudson was Dr. Morley’s Chief Resident in 1970 and went on to become Neurosurgeon-in-Chief at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto in 1977; Professor and Chairman of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto 1979-1989; TTH Surgeon-in-Chief 1989-1991; and TTH President and CEO 1991-1999.

In 1978 the Playfair Neurosciences Unit was opened at the Toronto Western Hospital. In 1979 Dr. Morley retired as Head of the Division of Neurosurgery and was succeeded by Dr. Ronald Tasker. In 1982 the neurosurgical service at TGH was moved from the Norman Urquhart Wing to the Eaton Wing. In 1988 the TGH and TWH neurosurgical divisions merged to form The Toronto Hospital Division of Neurosurgery, headed by Dr. Charles Tator. Finally, in June 1990, came the physical consolidation of TTH Division of Neurosurgery at the Toronto Western Division and the closure of all neurosurgical facilities and services at the Toronto General Division.

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Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

Toronto General Hospital (1819-1986)

Identifier of related entity

Category of relationship

hierarchical

Dates of relationship

1924-1988

Description of relationship

The Division of Neurosurgery was part of the Toronto General Hospital.

Related entity

The Toronto Hospital. Division of Neurosurgery (1988-1999)

Identifier of related entity

Category of relationship

temporal

Dates of relationship

1988

Description of relationship

In 1988 the TGH and TWH neurosurgical divisions merged to form The Toronto Hospital Division of Neurosurgery.

Related entity

Morley, T. P. (Thomas P.) (1920-2012)

Identifier of related entity

Category of relationship

associative

Dates of relationship

1952-1979

Description of relationship

In 1952 Dr. Morley was appointed junior neurosurgeon at Toronto General Hospital. In 1962 Dr. Morley became Head of the Division of Neurosurgery (Neurosurgeon-in-Chief) and held this position until 1979.

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University Health Network Archives

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Status

Final

Level of detail

Full

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Last Updated: April 3, 2013. Added to Archeion April 3, 2013.

Language(s)

  • English

Script(s)

Sources

J. Max Findlay, “Neurosurgery at the Toronto General Hospital, 1924-1990” Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences 21 (1994) Part 1 (146-158), Part 2 (278-284).

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