A Northern Doctor

Northern Doctor,
The Memoirs of Clifford Hugh Smylie M.D.
1893 - 1957
compiled by Mary Belle Smylie

Becoming a doctor in Northern Ontario was, in the early part of the twentieth century, quite a different challenge for a young man than it is now, as a new century begins. Clifford Smylie put himself through medical school by working at several jobs, but most notably in the Casey-Cobalt Mine where, after some experience in other aspects of mining he became a "cookee" and later, cook.

He portrays the life of a doctor in a rural practice, making house and hospital calls in all sorts of weather in the Districts of Temiskaming and Cochrane. Located in Matheson for many years, and covering distances too small for bush planes yet much too great for walking, Dr. Smylie used every means available to reach his patients. Hopping freight trains; driving horses; traveling at high speeds overland in a home-made "snowplane" (no modern snowmobiles yet);and bouncing over ruts in the early models of motor cars, he risked life and limb in the attempt to bring comfort and medical assistance to the people of the Northern communities and out-lying farms and camps.

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ISBN: 0-88954-425-5 | WMPub#1172 | 8½" x 11;" | 248 pages; hard cover | $44.95

Table of Contents


1. About To Become A Grandfather

2. Pioneering

3. Student & Miner

4. I Become A Soldier

5. Home Again To Belle

6. I Start To Practice Medicine

7. Blessed Is He That Hath Found His Work

8. Earlton Junction

9. Monteith, Ontario

10. We Move To Matheson

11. Toronto Again