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Lucille Teasdale (1929 — 1996), Canadian surgeon and international aid worker was born in East Montréal in 1929, graduating from the University of Montréal medical school and interning at St. Justine-Hospital. Teasdale was the first woman in Quebec to receive a diploma as a surgeon. She attempted to obtain advanced surgical training but was turned down by American hospitals because of her gender. Eventually she was able to get further training in Marseille France where she joined forces with Dr. Pietro Corti (her future husband) and travelled to Uganda where she performed more than 13,000 surgeries, working through civil wars, epidemics and massacres. With Corti, she built St. Mary’s Hospital in northern Uganda and turned it into a place of healing and hope during rebellions, civil wars, massacres and the AIDS and Ebola outbreaks. In 1991, Teasdale received the Order of Canada and the Saskawa Prize in 1996 the most prestigious distinction awarded by the World Health Organization. Despite the dangers of AIDS, Teasdale stayed in Africa for thirty years and continued to operate on hundreds of soldiers throughout the Ugandan civil war. She probably contracted AIDS during this period, and eventually succumbed to the disease at age 67. Today, Dominique Corti, the couple's daughter and herself a doctor of medicine, runs the hospital foundation named in honour of Drs. Teasdale and Corti.
Royal College Teasdale-Corti Humanitarian Award
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada provide a humanitarian award in honour of Teasdale and Corti. The award is for Canadian physicians "...who, while providing health care or emergency medical services, go beyond the accepted norms of routine practice, which may include exposure to personal risk. The recipient's action will exemplify altruism and integrity, courage and perseverance in the alleviation of human suffering..." See list of previous award recipients.
Key websites & videos
Lucille Teasdale-Corti's daughter discussing her philosophy of medicine