Canadian Medical Lives
Series edited by T.P. Morley, M.D.
Joe Doupe: Bedside Physiologist
By: Terence Moore
Published: Dundurn Press (1989)
In 1946, Winnipeg's struggling medical school received an injection of new life when scientist and army doctor Joe Doupe came home from the war. He assembled the school's first research group and, in 1949, took over the physiology department. Doupe soon blended science and clinical teaching, objecting to their separation in the curriculum, which was usual at that time. He required Winnipeg medical students of the 1950s and early 1960s to take a critical look at the scientific knowledge they relied on and in their methods of scientific inquiry.
From his student days Doupe was considered argumentative, forever asking colleagues, superiors or students why they believed what they took for granted. The outcome was a generation of Manitoba medical students with a perceptive and sceptical attitude towards both textbook knowledge and new medical discoveries. Doupe also showed that Winnipeg's medical school, though small and distant from the great medical centres, could become a first-rate teaching and research establishment; in doing so he became one of Canada's most distinguished medical educators.
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