About Us

Our History

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The College of General Practice of Canada was formed in Vancouver in June 1954. Manitoba’s leading spirit was Dr Jack McKenty. He was nominated as Manitoba Representative to the Board of the College.

Under his guidance a meeting was called at the Medical Arts Club for the purpose of organizing the Manitoba Chapter. This took place in October 1954. Over 40 GPs attended, and elected a first executive: President: Dr A. T. Gowran; Secretary: Dr D. M. Carleton; Treasurer: Dr Joe Hollenberg.

A brisk membership campaign was carried out in the next three years. Committees were formed and meetings of executives were open to all members. In September 1956, under the chairmanship of Dr. Carleton, the first chapter convention was held at the Chalet at Wasagaming, Manitoba. It proved such a success that it became an annual event and has grown from a one-and-a-half day meeting to a four-day meeting, held each year in Winnipeg.

At present the executive is enlarged and very active. Membership reached a peak of 150 five or six years ago and has remained at that level since.

The Chapter has been very fortunate in its leadership during the past 15 years and has had two members who became presidents of the College of General Practice of Canada: Dr. Jack McKenty and Dr. Garth Diehl.

The future aspirations of the Manitoba Chapter are centred on the development of a Department of Family Medicine within the medical school of the University of Manitoba. The Chapter has previously tried to foster the idea among the medical educators of this province, but unfortunately, to date, no practical evidence has been forthcoming that our pleas have been heard. However, the present executive is currently reopening negotiations with the medical school and others. We feel that perhaps this time we may be more successful in persuading the “establishment” that an active Department of Family Medicine is of paramount importance both in the training of the future doctors of Canada, whether they decide to become family physicians or specialists, and in the continuing education of all qualified physicians.

Originally published in Canadian Family Physician September 1969