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Dr. Louis Kristal at 100: witness to the evolution of surgery in Canada
Can J Surg (2017)
  • Vivian C. McAlister
The lecture, though impromptu, was to be special, but maybe not as special as the medical school realized. Canadian Nobel Prize winner, Major Sir Frederick Banting was on his way to Britain when he took the opportunity to speak to Dalhousie University medical students. Banting had wished to pursue a career in orthopedic surgery, having worked with Professor Clarence Starr at the Canadian Orthopedic Hospital, Ramsgate, during the First World War and in the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ont., after that. Banting switched to a career in research following the stunning success of his insulin project, which he undertook during a lull in his clinical practice. He became the founding head of the government-funded Banting and Best Research Institute at the University of Toronto. By 1938 Banting had turned his attention to aviation medicine as head of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Number 1 Clinical Investigation Unit. A week after the Dalhousie lecture, on Feb. 21, 1941, Banting died when the plane that was taking him to Britain crashed close to Musgrave Harbour, Nfld. Dr. Louis Kristal (Dalhousie, 1943), who celebrates his 100th birthday, remembers Banting’s last lecture well. Banting dispensed with platitudes about honour and service even though he had won the Military Cross for gallantry in the previous war and instead explained the physiology of flying to the class and demonstrated the new anti-gravity suit designed by Wilbur Franks in his research unit.  (Editorial Dec 2017 issue Can J Surg)
  • Banting; GP surgery; Canada
Publication Date
December, 2017
Citation Information
Vivian C. McAlister. "Dr. Louis Kristal at 100: witness to the evolution of surgery in Canada" Can J Surg Vol. 60 Iss. 6 (2017)
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