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Three Awesome Moustaches Behind Modern Medicine

Behind every great moustache is a mo-bro with the potential to make a difference. 

Thousands of men each year dedicate countless hours to styling and sculpting the perfect moustache in the name of Movemeber and the cause it stands for.

Movember, is an annual global campaign taking place each November that seeks to educate, engage, promote and fundraise for men’s health issues. The campaign requires mo-bros around the world to grow and groom a moustache in effort to spark conversations around men’s health issues and raise money in support of prostate and testicular cancer .

The growth and popularity of the campaign has bred some of the most impressive and legendary moustaches known to man.

 In the spirit of Movember, we hit the archives to uncover three awesome mo’s belonging to three legendary names in Canadian medical history.

Let us introduce Drs. Sir William Osler, Wilder Penfield, and Norman Bethune. Before men around the globe starting growing their very own moustache’s in the name of health, these three gentlemen were changing medical history and doing it in mo-style.

Today we recognize them not only for their awesome facial hair, but for their extraordinary contributions to the medical profession.

As some of the most inventive and dedicated doctors in history, we owe it to them (and their moustaches) for the great influences their contributions have had on modern medicine, not only right here in Canada, but around the world.

Dr. Osler

Moustache: The Regent

The regent moustache is the epitome of class. Perfectly groomed and practically fashionable, this Canadian physician’s moustache wasn’t the only thing he made a statement with. His teaching methods were revolutionary and eventually changed how physicians would interact with patients forever.

Commonly known as one of histories most influential figures in medicine, Dr. Sir William Osler was well-known as a writer, medical philosopher, historian and professor. To his students, he was a humble, charismatic, brilliant – and most importantly- influential leader.

A strong believer in bedside manner, Dr. Osler insisted that his students and residents see and speak to their patients rather than simply dictate their conditions to them from a textbook. While this method was very common in Europe, Dr. Osler brought it to North America where it spread rapidly throughout medical schools, hospitals and clinics.

Thanks to Dr. Osler, this comforting approach is practised by physicians today, making our visits to the doctor’s office a little more enjoyable!


Moustache: The Rock Star

The rock star moustache is typically big, well maintained and full of attitude. Rumour has it, it’s been worn by countless legends from all over the world.

This comes as no surprise for this famous Canadian neurosurgeon. Usually depicted with a smooth face, this photo gives us a rare glimpse of a young and inspiring Dr. Wilder Penfield sporting a rather dashing mo.

In 1934, Dr. Penfield opened the Montreal Neurological Institute and started working on a new surgical approach called the “Montreal Procedure.” With the goal of treating severe cases of epilepsy, Dr. Penfield would provide local aesthetic for his patients as they remained conscious. He would then remove the cap of their skull and while exposing the brain tissue, he would probe the brain while the patient would verbally confirm the different feelings and sensations they were experiencing. Dr. Penfield could then locate the exact point of the seizure activity in the brain and remove that spot of brain tissue.

Dr. Penfield went on to create numerous maps of the brain with detailed sensory and motor sections illustrating how they connect to different parts of the body. His procedure and maps of the brain were highly influential all over the world and remain to be a constant reference point for students and surgeons today.


Moustache: The Undercover Brother

Born in 1890 in Gravenhurt, Ontario, this non-conventional Canadian physician led an action-packed and meaningful career.

Being at the front lines of medicine was what Dr. Bethune did best. Whether that was on the battle field, in the Navy, or creating innovative surgical and medical tools, Dr. Bethune was deeply passionate about doing whatever he could to help people all over the world.

His previous experience with the Canadian military as a stretcher bearer during the First World War and a short stint with the Navy influenced his decision to travel to Spain during the civil war where he sought to help wounded soldiers. This led to his creation of the very first mobile blood transfusion service.

His unfortunate diagnosis of severe tuberculosis sparked a great desire in Dr. Bethune to learn more about the illness and help those who were affected by it. This influenced his decision to study the condition which eventually led to one of his greatest accomplishments, the design and re-design of many medical and surgical tools such as the Bethune Rib Shears.

His moustache may be small but it’s mighty. Dr. Bethune’s medical career was nothing short of mighty. His moustache might reference anonymity but we’re happy to shed light on his invaluable contribution to medicine.

I moust-ache you a question: What’s the name of your moustache and how are you contributing to men’s health this Movember?
Let your mo be a reminder to take your health seriously. Talk to your doctor about about your risk and what appropriate prostate and testicular cancer screening looks like for you.