Dr Jean Hugill is remembered as one of the first female specialist physicians on the West Coast. She graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta in 1946 and completed her anesthesia training at McGill University in 1950.
She was the first anesthesiologist at the West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni, BC, and was the founder of that department. She joined the Department of Anesthesia at Vancouver General Hospital in 1950 and remained on staff there until 1985.
Dr Hugill became a pioneer in the development of obstetrical anesthesia in British Columbia and was passionate about the provision of a “good birth” for mom and babe. She became an expert on the anesthesia management of surgery for pheochromocytoma—surgery that continues to tax the skill of the anesthesiologist—and provided care for more patients with this condition than all her colleagues combined.
Jean was an avid breeder of English cocker spaniels and won over 30 prizes for her breeding skills. One of her joys was taking these beautiful dogs to extended care facilities for the enjoyment of the residents.
Jean became a benefactor to the Department of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine at her alma mater, the University of Alberta, and to the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology, and Therapeutics at UBC. In both cases she provided over $500000 in endowments for research in pain management and anesthesia. The Jean Templeton Hugill Chair in Anesthesia Research and the Jean Templeton Hugill Research Centre at UBC are named in her memory.
Jean was a mentor to medical students and residents throughout her career. She became a particular support for young women attempting to balance the challenges of a career with a full life. She will be missed.
—Brian Warriner, MD