Jennie Smillie Robertson

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Jane "Jennie" Smillie Robertson
Smillie portrait.jpg
Jennie Smillie, n.d.
Born Jane Smillie
(1878-02-10)February 10, 1878
Hensall, Ontario, Canada
Died February 26, 1981(1981-02-26) (aged 103)
Resting place Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Occupation Physician and surgeon
Known for First female surgeon in Canada

Jennie Robertson (February 10, 1878 – February 26, 1981) was a Canadian physician and the first female surgeon in Canada.

Born as Jane Smillie in Hensall, Ontario, she was the fourth child of Benjamin Smillie (1839–1886) and his wife, Jane Smillie (née Buchanan) (1849–1906). The family farm was in the Huron Tract on lot 10, concession 1, in the township of Tuckersmith, one mile north of what is now Hensall, Ontario. She initially became a teacher. She started saving so that she could attend Kingston’s Ontario Medical College for Women (which was absorbed into the University of Toronto’s medical school in 1906).

She graduated in 1909 but no hospital in Toronto would take her for her residency so she had to attend Philadelphia's Women's Medical College. In 1911, she returned to Canada and was the first woman in Canada to perform surgery. She was also the first woman to do major gynecological surgery in Canada.

Last years[edit]

She married Alex Robertson when she was 70. She died in a nursing home in 1981 at the age of 103 and is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto.[1]



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