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Medical giants stride pages of new book


Published: 16 Dec 2013

Images of The Neuro is literary eyewitness to medical history

In a new collection of insightful essays and selected photos, one of Canada’s most eminent medical figures, Dr. William Feindel, shines a personal light on the world-famous institution that he headed for 12 years, the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro, McGill University, as well as on some giants of medicine like Osler, Willis, Gilbert and Penfield.

Feindel’s 25 essays are the fruit of 70 years of association with The Neuro. He gives a unique eyewitness perspective of The Neuro’s early years and in particular to the work of its founder, Dr. Wilder Penfield, who was Feindel’s mentor and collaborator. A fascinating essay describes how the two men developed the Montreal Procedure, a surgical treatment for epilepsy that has been adopted around the world. Feindel also brings to life the excitement that he and his colleagues felt when The Neuro acquired Canada’s first brain imaging scanners, which gave them windows into the brain that were previously unimaginable.

With a historian’s eye for detail, Feindel also reveals major figures of the more distant past like Sir William Osler, the outstanding Canadian physician who helped raise huge sums for McGill University’s teaching hospitals, including notably The Neuro.

Feindel also brings his medical expertise to bear on assessments of two British medical pioneers, Thomas Willis, the 17th century physician who coined the term, “neurology,” and William Gilbert, the 16th century doctor who first used the word “electricity.”

Dr. Feindel, who is 95 and still working at The Neuro, is an Officer of the Order of Canada, Grand Officier de l’Ordre national du Québec, a member of the Academie des Grand Montrealais, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2003, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. An annual Lectureship in Neurosurgery at The Neuro and an endowed Professorship in Neuro-Oncology at McGill have been established in his name.

Book launch will take place prior to the 2013 William Feindel Lecture on December 17, 2013:


3:30 pm                Book launch: Images of the Neuro – Dr William Feindel


4:00 pm                2013 William Feindel Lecture

“Following in the footsteps of Dr Penfield:  unraveling the secrets of the human brain with electrical stimulation”

Andres Lozano, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FRSC, Professor and Chairman, Dan Family Chair in Neurosurgery, RR Tasker Chair in Functional Neurosurgery, Canadian Research Chair in Neuroscience (Tier 1), University of Toronto Senior Scientist, Toronto Western Research Institute


Images of the Neuro is published by The Neuro History Project and McGill University’s Osler Library, where Dr. Feindel is Honorary Librarian and Curator of the Wilder Penfield Archive.  Copies can also be purchased by contacting:

Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McIntyre Medical Sciences Building, McGill University

3655 Promenade Sir-William-Osler, 3rd floor, 514 398-4475 ext 09873, osler [dot] library [at] mcgill [dot] ca


Contact Information

Contact: Anita Kar
Organization: The Neuro