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McGill Reporter
September 11, 2003 - Volume 36 Number 01
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Long-serving doctor retires

When the twentieth century was only halfway done, a young doctor by the name of Charles Cahn joined the staff of the Douglas Hospital in Verdun. Now that the twenty-first century is safely underway, the good doctor has finally retired, after a mind-boggling 52 years of service. He won't be forgotten -- in honour of the psychiatrist's dedicated work, the hospital has named its library the Charles Cahn Library.

When Cahn first came to Montreal, he was put in charge of over 1,000 female patients, with none of the modern treatments we now take for granted.

"I saw women, some of them naked, lying on the floor. There were feces on the walls. I had no medications to help depressed, anxious or psychotic people, except for sedatives and tranquilizers. It was an enormous task," he recalled.

Cahn was at the forefront of developments that would change that: he was part of the clinical team that staged one of the first trials for the antidepressant imipramine.

Cahn retires after holding a number of positions at the Douglas Hospital: he served as Medical Superintendent from 1967-72 and Director of Professional Services from 1972-84, and from 1971-88, he travelled throughout Canada as a part of the Canadian Council on Hospital Accreditation team. He also wrote a history of the hospital, published in 1981. n

Former National Post editor joins MISC

Kenneth Whyte, most recently editor of the National Post, has taken the position of visiting fellow in media and communications with the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC) for 2003-04.

In this position, Whyte will develop initiatives in media, communications and ethics, as well as visit classrooms and deliver seminars.

"Ken is here to develop a new facet of McGill that has to do with media public policy and the Institute. As well, he's interested in expanding its role in public policy research," said MISC director Antonia Maioni.

Maioni said Whyte already has events lined up -- he will participate in a round table discussion on the media in Canada with former Mulroney advisor Hugh Segal and political science professor Richard Schultz. Whyte will also devote time to writing a major work on the history of print.

Whyte will be "an exceptional resource person for students and colleagues and an integral player in the institute's activities," Maioni said. He'll engage in the follow up inspired by last year's MISC conference on the media in Canada, and be involved in their upcoming February conference devoted to cities in Canada and the new urban agenda.

Whyte's background in media is extensive: in addition to being the first editor of the National Post, he was editor of Saturday Night magazine and the Alberta Report. He has also been a television host and columnist.

Principal Heather Munroe-Blum welcomed the appointment of Whyte to MISC. "We want our community to benefit from opportunities in which to meet people at the top of their profession and to learn from their experience firsthand," said Munroe-Blum.

Whyte replaces former Gazette publisher Michael Goldbloom, who took a position with the Toronto Star in May.

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