Memorable Manitobans: Edith McKay Ross (1888-1932)
Born at Whitemouth on 23 October 1888, daughter of Hope Fleming McKenzie Ross and Mary Minnie Ross (1867-1928), granddaughter of pioneering physician Charlotte Whitehead Ross, she graduated from the Manitoba Medical College in 1913, receiving a Gold Medal. She became the first woman anaesthetist at the Winnipeg General Hospital. In 1918, she resigned the position when she was refused funds to purchase a nitrous oxide dispenser for delivering anaesthesia. The hospital considered it an unnecessary expense for use with public ward patients. Ultimately, the Hospital Committee made the purchase and she was reinstated. She was subsequently an anaesthetist at the St. Boniface Hospital. She underwent cancer surgery in January 1930, recovered, then relapsed in 1931. She died at her Winnipeg home, 120 Lenore Street, on 13 May 1932 and was buried in the Brookside Cemetery.
Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
“Woman graduates of Manitoba University,” Manitoba Free Press, 17 May 1913, page 51.
“Dr. Edith Ross dies following long illness,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 May 1932, page 4.
Influenza 1918: Disease, Death, and Struggle in Winnipeg by Esyllt W. Jones, University of Toronto Press, 2007.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Dawn Monroe.
Page revised: 8 February 2022