Canadian Medical Lives
Series edited by T.P. Morley, M.D.
William Boyd: Silver Tongue and Golden Pen
By: Ian Carr
Published: Fitzhenry & Whiteside (1993)
William Boyd 11885-1979) was one of the most influential pathologists and medical educators of the twentieth century. His books spread his influence world wide. He had in his youth immersed himself in English literature, and what he had learned remained for a lifetime to quicken his tongue and polish his pen.
He grew up in Scotland and trained at Edinburgh University; soon afterward he served as a medical officer in Flanders, and wrote movingly about it. His appointment as Professor of Pathology in the University of Manitoba in 1915 arose from the influence of a friend, but he learned pathology fast and in the intellectually fertile environment of Winnipeg wrote a series of textbooks whose vivid style won him readers, reputation and wealth.
In 1937 he moved to the University of Toronto and, after his first retirement, for several years to the University of British Columbia. In his latter years he revised his books and remained a significant force in medical education.
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