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The American Heart Association

Atlas Congenital Cardiac Disease / Second Edition / c1954

Atlas Congenital Cardiac Disease / Second Edition / c1954

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By Dr. Maude Elizabeth Seymour Abbott 

Dr. Maude Elizabeth Seymour Abbott (1869-1940), was a trailblazing Canadian physician whose journey defied societal norms and propelled her to become a celebrated pioneer in the realm of medicine. In an era when female medical professionals were a rarity, Dr. Abbott shattered barriers to become one of Canada's earliest female medical graduates and an internationally renowned expert in congenital heart disease.

Dr. Abbott's extraordinary odyssey began with a resolute pursuit of knowledge. Despite a previous rejection, she secured a scholarship and gained admission to McGill University's Faculty of Arts, where she emerged as a brilliant student and the valedictorian of her graduating class in 1890. Undeterred by the prevailing biases against women in medicine, she persevered and applied for medical studies at McGill University. Unfortunately, her aspirations were met with refusal, as women were not granted admission.

Undaunted by this setback, Dr. Abbott found another path to realize her calling. She was accepted into Bishop's University, where she embarked on her medical education. While at Bishop's University, she seized the opportunity to undergo clinical training at the prestigious Montreal General Hospital, honing her skills and expanding her medical expertise. In 1894, she proudly earned her M.D., C.M. degree with honors, emerging as the sole woman in her graduating class.

With her medical degree in hand, Abbott spent three years studying in Europe. There she took additional courses in pathology and gained valuable experience at women’s hospitals and an asylum. In 1897, she returned to Montreal and opened an independent clinic dedicated to treating women and children, often treating infants with heart defects. Driven by an insatiable thirst for knowledge, Dr. Abbott delved into pioneering research on congenital heart disease, blazing a trail that would place her at the forefront of her field.

In 1898 Abbott traveled to John Hopkins University to observe the collections of other medical institutions. There she met the renowned physician William Osler. Osler, a leading figure in modern medicine, recognized Dr. Abbott's unparalleled expertise and entrusted her with the pivotal task of penning the chapter on "Congenital Heart Disease" in his esteemed work, the System of Modern Medicine. Osler himself heralded her contribution as the finest exposition on the subject he had ever encountered, establishing Dr. Abbott as the world authority on congenital heart disease.

Dr. Abbott's enduring dedication to her craft culminated in the creation of her magnum opus, the Atlas of Congenital Cardiac Disease, published in 1936. This seminal work, a testament to her expertise and tireless research, served as an invaluable resource for medical professionals around the globe, illuminating the intricate world of congenital heart ailments.

Dr. Maude Elizabeth Seymour Abbott, a visionary whose spirit and unwavering commitment to advancing medical knowledge, transformed her into an icon of medicine. Her remarkable journey is a testament to the power of perseverance, intellect, and unwavering determination in the face of formidable challenges.

Book Description

The Atlas was first published by the American Heart Association in 1936 and reprinted in c1954. Then a third printing in 2006 included remastered color images of many of the specimens used by Abbott. The book contains a frontispiece of portraits of great scientists who have contributed to congenital heart disease. The work illustrated a new classification system and described records of over a thousand cases of clinical and postmortem records. The book includes 25 plates, and 1 table of Statistics on congenital cardiac disease (1,000 cases analyzed).

Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket: None. The book's boards are maroon-clothed with a gilt title on the cover and spine. The boards and spine are slightly rubbed and bumped. The text block is slightly tanned, and the owner's inscription is on the front free endpaper. The pages are otherwise clean and unmarked. The binding is secure.

Publisher: New York: American Heart Association
Publication Date: c1954
Language: English 
Binding: Hardcover
Condition: Very Good
Pages: Frontispiece, x, 62 pp (including 25 plates), 1 table of Statistics of congenital cardiac disease (1,000 cases analyzed)
Edition: Second Edition
Photos: Rachel Garber. Courtesy Musée regional d’Argenteuil
Size: Folio: 27.9 cm x 35.56 cm x 1.27 cm 

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