One of the best trained physicians of his generation
Born in Guelph, Ontario, John McCrae won a scholarship to study at the University of Toronto when he was 16. He completed his residency at the Toronto General Hospital and worked for a short period at Johns Hopkins University with Dr. William Osler. Later, Dr. McCrae completed specialist training in pathology under Dr. George Adami. He was one of the first Canadians to receive formal training in laboratory research, and invented new processes to aid his study of agglutination of several bacteria.
In the First World War, Lt. Col McCrae served as the chief medical officer of the No. 3 Canadian General Hospital (McGill). He was an inspirational leader who worked to exhaustion in this role for two and half years, tragically succumbing to pneumonia in January 1918.