Maude Abbott

Maude Abbott Canadian post stamp

Maude Abbott

Date of issue: January 17, 2000
Printer: Ashton-Potter Canada
Series: The Millenium Collection, Medical innovators
Design: Tom Yakobina; based on a painting by Mary Alexandra Bell Eastlake

Maude Abbott was born in 1868 in St. Andrews East, Quebec. She was one of the first women to obtain a BA from McGill University (1890). She was refused admission to McGill’s Medical School because of her sex and instead acquired a medical degree from Bishop’s College (1894). She was appointed Curator of McGill’s Medical Museum in 1899 and spent much of her professional career developing it into one of the best such institutions in North America. By coming into contact with and learning about museum specimens showing congenital heart abnormalities, she became an expert in the subject and published the influential Atlas of Congenital Cardiac Disease in 1936.

In addition to these accomplishments, Abbott was a co-founder of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada and of the International Association of Medical Museums (now known as the International Academy of Pathology). She died in Montreal in 1940. The painting on which the stamp is based currently hangs in the Maude Abbott Medical Museum at McGill University.

The Stamp

The stamp shows Dr. Abbott as she was painted by Mary Bell Eastlake in 1936. She is depicted in an academic robe and holding a book, symbolizing her status as a scholar and teacher. The background wall is in McGill’s Strathcona Anatomy and Dentistry Building where Abbott’s museum was located. A staff of Aesculapius (Greek God of healing and medicine) is seen at the top right. The twelve roses at the bottom are a personal touch included by the designer, Tom Yakobina, in homage of Abbott.




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