Richard Garrett

Richard William Garrett, MA, MD
1853 - 1925
Faculty of Medicine 1883 - 1913
Obstetrics & Gynaecology 1896 - 1913

RICHARD GARRETT was born in 1853. His initial undergraduate degree was an MA from Trinity University, Toronto. He subsequently entered the Faculty of Medicine at Queen's. In keeping with the practice at that time he was one of two medical students who in their final year were appointed as interns at the Kingston General Hospital. He received his MD degree in 1882 at the age of 29.

Following graduation he entered practice as an assistant to Dr Sullivan, the professor of surgery. He soon came to be recognized for his clinical and surgical skills.

His career at Queen's began in 1883 when he was appointed as a demonstrator in anatomy. He was appointed professor of anatomy in 1888 at the age of 35 and continued in this position for the next five years.

Dr Garrett was appointed as an attending physician at the Kingston General Hospital in 1893. His teaching responsibilities shifted from the basic sciences to clinical medicine with his appointment as a professor of clinical surgery in 1894. In 1896 at the age of 43 Dr Garrett was appointed professor of obstetrics and gynaecology.

With the increasing numbers of patients coming to the women's hospital, Dr Garrett was joined by Dr Isaac Wood who served as an assistant in obstetrics and gynaecology and paediatrics at Queen's and Kingston General Hospital.

By the end of the l0th century the value of continuing education was recognized and Dr Garrett travelled to England in 1899 to spend six weeks visiting a number of hospitals. He had pride in his discipline and in convocation hall, March 1901, in a lecture addressing the progress of the nineteenth century and the prospects for the twentieth he stated that 'Obstetrics had been rescued from the hands of ignorant midwives and with its allied branch gynaecology has been raised to its legitimate position as a science.' A highlight of Dr Garrett's teaching and clinical career was the publication of a Textbook of Medical and Surgical Gynaecology. This 420 page text served as a guide for students and a reference for general practitioners and was described by a reviewer as a concise work well indexed, with systematically arranged printing and illustrations.

Due to ill health Dr Garrett retired in 1913 at the age of 60 and died January 21, 1925 at the age of 72.

He had two sons, William and Reginald, and one daughter.