Fonds UBCA-ARC-1048 - Claude Dolman fonds

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Claude Dolman fonds

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1.18 m of textual records

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Biographical history

Born in Porthleven, Cornwall, England, in 1906, Claude Ernest Dolman received his medical education at St. Mary's Hospital Medical School, graduating from the University of London with an M.B., B.S., and later gaining a Ph.D. from that University. He came to Canada in 1931 as a Research Assistant and Clinical Associate in Connaught Laboratories at the University of Toronto. In 1935 he moved to Vancouver to head a cooperative project sponsored by the Connaught Laboratories, the Provincial Board of Health of B.C., and the University of B.C. Dolman became head of the Department of Bacteriology and Preventive Medicine (1936-51) and its successor, the Department of Bacteriology and Immunology (1951-65). He also served as acting head of the Department of Nursing and Health (1933-43) and later as head of the Department (1943-51). In 1947, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and Canada.
Dolman played a significant role in the history of medicine at UBC, beginning with his attempts to establish an Institute of Preventive Medicine in 1936. He recognized that the Division of Laboratories, the Departments of Bacteriology and Preventive Medicine and Nursing and Health (UBC), the Western Division of Connaught Laboratories, and the UBC Health Services all suffered inadequate facilities. Their operations often duplicated efforts, and that their geographic separation often led to wasteful duplication and dispersal of effort. In contrast, proximity would multiply their usefulness and permit integration of their teaching, service and research contributions in the broad field of public health. He, therefore, proposed the development of an institute that would bring them under a single roof. In 1938, the Federal and Provincial governments agreed to sponsor the Institute of Preventive Medicine's construction. Unfortunately, with World War II, the Federal Government suspended public works projects, including the Institute. After the war, returning veterans and the local medical profession renewed enthusiasm for an orthodox medical school. As one of the preliminary steps towards the end, the Board of Governors asked Dolman to survey medical schools in Canada and the United States to determine the best pattern of development to follow. Dolman's report and his efforts to re-establish an Institute of Preventive Medicine as a component of the proposed Faculty of Medicine sparked a lengthy debate. A Faculty of Medicine was established at UBC in 1947, with Myron M. Weaver as the first dean. Dolman was an active member of the Royal Society of Canada from 1947 and served as president of Section III (Science Section) for 1965-66 and later as Society President (1969-70).

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The fonds comprised of two series of records. The first series, History of Medicine at UBC (1936-1976), contains correspondence, memoranda, and reports relating to the proposed establishment of an Institute of Preventive Medicine (1936-1940). It also includes records associated with the preparation and execution of the Medical Education survey (1946), correspondence and reports relating to the Department of Bacteriology and Preventive Medicine (1951-1955), and a history of the UBC Medical School (1976). Records of the Royal Society of Canada comprise the second series. A large portion of this material reflects the efforts of the Society to participate in the formulation and implementation of a national science policy beginning from the mid-1960s through to the early 1970s.

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Records relating to the early days of medicine at UBC can also be found in the President's Office fonds.

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Updated in January 2021, JM.

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