M. Joan Borland

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Marion Joan Borland (neè Farquharson), daughter and niece of physicians, was born in Toronto on March 2, 1922.  After graduating from Havergal in 1939, she entered the U of T Medical School and graduated with only three other women on May 5, 1944.  The following day she married classmate Kyle Borland.  She and Kyle had four children and Joan stayed at home with them.

In 1956 the polio vaccine was introduced in Ontario and the demand was overwhelming, with people lining up for hours.  Joan was recruited to the immunization program.

These were the days before nurses were “allowed” to participate.  After this she re-entered the medical world getting her Diploma in Public Health in 1962 at the Toronto School of Hygiene, and in 1962 she became assistant Medical Officer of Health in York County where her classmate Bob King was the chief MOH.  In the sixties, she was invited to teach in Public Health at the University of Toronto and taught there as an Associate Professor until 1977.

After leaving U of T she opened a practice for women in Agincourt and continued there until retirement in 1987.

In 1982 Joan met a young woman author, Barbara Dacks, and together they wrote a book for women, “Cast a Thin Shadow - a complete program of Diet and Exercise and Stress Management,” which was published in 1984.

She is now retired near Alliston and enjoys bridge, lunches and theatre.

Throughout her career, Joan took a special interest in her medical class, beginning with the informal gatherings that she and Kyle hosted in their home, and continuing with the careful record-keeping and correspondence which has provided the basis for these biographies.


Excerpt written by: Dr. Joan Borland


Barnett, Henry, Joan Borland, Jack Laidlaw, Neil Watters and Bruce Wells. The Epic Journey of University of Toronto Medical Class of 1944. Toronto: University of Toronto, Faculty of Medince, 2012. pg. 23.

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