McMaster University

McMaster University

McMaster University Medical Centre

A New Era

"No bubble is so iridescent or floats longer than that blown by the successful teacher." ~ Sir William Osler, Dundas-raised Physician and Icon of Modern Medicine (1849 - 1919)

E. Moran Campbell Arnold Johnson John Evans
From left: E. Moran Campbell, Arnold Johnson and John Evans

Dr. E. Moran Campbell, Dr. Arnold Johnson and Dr. John Evans and his team at the McMaster Medical School all had a common goal: to establish a first-rate cardiology program for McMaster and the Hamilton community.  As McMaster expanded from a secondary-care centre to an academically-rigorous, university-based, true tertiary-care centre, teaching would need to keep pace with the rapid evolution of the system.  With a dedicated group of cardiologists, McMaster medical students would receive the best possible teaching in clinical cardiology.  Dr. Ernest Fallen, Dr. Paul Tanser, Dr. John Cairns and Dr. Douglas Holder would form the core of the new Department of Cardiology.

July 1, 1975 marked the arrival of the four horsemen” to Hamilton.  They looked around and saw uneven provision of cardiac care throughout the city, and set out to create auniform standard of care by distributing themselves amongst the centres: Dr. Holder to Hamilton General Hospital, Dr. Tanser to St. Joseph’s Hospital, Dr. Fallen and Dr. Cairns to McMaster University Medical Centre.  In this way, they hoped growth would be horizontal rather than vertical, towards the development of a truly regional cardiovascular program.  Dr. Fallen served as Chairman of the Department of Cardiology from 1975 until his retirement as Professor Emeritus in 200l.

When asked about their personal recollections, the "Four Horsemen" remember the Hamilton medical community being very welcoming upon their arrival.  These were heady and exciting times, and everything was new and fresh.  Everyone had a role and were striving together to help make the new system at the new University and Medical School, work.  Cooperation helped things run smoothly.  The community physicians were eager to help out, and the internists and cardiologists collaborated to run the new Coronary Care Unit.

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