Surgeon General makes historic visit to celebrate military history

By Max Martin, MA'19

The highest-ranking physician in the Canadian military visited the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry in October to build ties with the University and celebrate the School’s rich military history.

Maj.-Gen. Andrew Downes, Surgeon General and Commander of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group, and members of his team attended a celebratory dinner, toured the School’s facilities and took part in a business meeting.

“Western has a long history of participation and support of the military endeavours undertaken by Canada,” said Dr. Vivian McAlister, the Angus D. McLachlin Professor of Surgery at the school. “The visit of the Surgeon General was an historic opportunity to strengthen this partnership so we might continue to develop specialties that will provide care for victims of conflict in austere environments and humanitarian care.”

Dr. Davy Cheng, Acting Dean, invited the Surgeon General to visit in recognition of the School’s many interactions with the Department of National Defense and number of faculty, staff and students who are veterans or members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

During his visit, Maj.-Gen. Downes attended a dinner event at the Great Hall in celebration of the 100 th anniversary of the No. 10 Canadian Stationary Hospital, a medical unit stationed in England and France during the First World War comprised of medical faculty from Western University.

Representatives from the Canadian Armed Forces, faculty members and medical professionals across the city also attended the celebration.

The following morning, a business meeting was held between the Surgeon General’s team and leadership from the School.

For more information on the history of the No. 10 Stationary Hospital and Western’s ties to medicine during WWI, read this story from The London Free Press.