Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

“The problem of neurology is to understand man himself.”

© Irma Coucill and the CMHF
1994 Inductee

Dr. Wilder Penfield

Born: 
January 25, 1881, Spokane, Washington
Died: 
April 5, 1976
Education: 
Princeton University; Merton College; MD - Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Wilder Penfield, with degrees from Princeton, Johns Hopkins and Oxford universities, was already a noted success in neurosurgery before he was invited to Montreal. Dr. Penfield was asked to try integrating neurology, neuropathology and neurosurgery. He and colleague Dr. William Cone established the Montreal Neurological Institute, whose workers have made major progress in diagnosis and treatment of brain-related disorders.

In his personal research, Penfield made major breakthroughs in the understanding and treatment of various forms of epilepsy and of brain scars resulting from trauma.  Not only one of Canada's pre-eminent medical scientists and surgeons, Wilder Penfield was a noted author and humanist, displaying broad interest and talents in biography and ethics. In addition to his tribute video (link above), view this Heritage Minute by Historica Canada