By Richard L. Cruess, MD
The history of medicine in Montreal and the history of McGill University are closely intertwined. The Hôtel-Dieu Hospital had been established in 1644, but by the early 1800's it could only house thirty patients(1) and was unable to accommodate growing patient needs. In addition, there was no hospital for the English-speaking community. In 1801, Quebec's parliament established the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning, a volunteer-run Protestant organization dedicated to stimulating secondary and advanced education in the province.