Jennie Robertson Jennie Smillie Jane Smillie (at birth)
Jennie Robertson (February 10, 1878 – February 26, 1981) was a Canadian physician and the first female surgeon in Canada.
Jennie Smillie Robertson was teaching school in rural Ontario early in the last century when she began saving money for tuition at Kingston’s Ontario Medical College for Women. (In 1906, during her second year, the college was absorbed into the University of Toronto’s medical school.) She graduated (MB 1909), but no Toronto hospital would accept female interns, so she was forced to go to a Philadelphia institution. When Smillie Robertson returned to Toronto in 1911 she was one of the first women in Canada to perform surgery, albeit in a private home because of the difficulty in finding a hospital that would sponsor her. No wonder she worked earnestly to help establish Women’s College Hospital and the Federation of Medical Women of Canada. She was the first woman to do major gynecological surgery in Canada. (University of Toronto Builders and Pioneers: Individuals who helped ideas prosper)