History

A proud tradition of neurosurgical care

The establishment of a neurosurgical department in Halifax in January 1948 was the first such service in Atlantic Canada. Its development occurred at both a receptive place and time. The Victoria General Hospital (VGH) was in a period of growth, medical specialization and departmentalization, in part inspired by the Flexner Report of 1910. Atlantic Canadians were also increasingly looking to specialists and hospitals for medical care.

Although this social environment encouraged the establishment of surgical specialty services, the development of neurosurgery in Halifax, as in other parts of Canada, was closely associated with the efforts of individual neurosurgeons. It was only in 1924 that the first neurosurgical service was created in Canada.

K.G. McKenzie was the country's first neurosurgeon, and his program in Toronto became one of the chief training centres in the country. After training with McKenzie, W.D. Stevenson was recruited to establish the first neurosurgical service in Atlantic Canada.

Learn more about Dr. Stevenson and his contributions to neurosurgery at Dalhousie and beyond.