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Early History

Unearthing our roots

The medical school’s first home was a university building on Halifax's Grand Parade. One of the first anatomy teachers was Dr. Edward Farrell (from 1868-1870), assisted by Dr. Thomas Almon, who lectured and prosected cadavers for teaching purposes. Dr. Farrell was succeeded by Dr. Hugh A. Gordon (1871-1872), followed by Dr. George L. Sinclair (1873-1889), Dr. A.W.H. Lindsay (1889-1916) and Dr. John (Jock) Cameron (1916-1931).


Dr. G.L. Sinclair

Dr. A.W.H Lindsay

Dr. J. Cameron

Halifax Medical College - 1874

During this same time, the medical school was established as the Halifax Medical College, the name it kept until 1911. It also found a new home on College Street, across the road from where the Sir Charles Tupper Building now stands.

The start of a legacy


Dr. D. Mainland

In 1914, Dr. D.A. Campbell, who was an assistant to Dr. Sinclair, established a foundation, in memory of his son, to fund the Dr. D.G.J. Campbell Chair of Anatomy. Since then, the chair has been occupied by the head of the department.

In 1931, Dr. Donald Mainland (1931-1949) became the next professor of anatomy. His textbook of anatomy (Anatomy as a Basis for Medical and Dental Practice, 1945, Harper & Brothers, London) was well-known and used by Dalhousie medical and dental students of Dalhousie for years.