Hardie was educated at Edinburgh High School and Edinburgh University. He took his MD in 1862, and moved to Harpurhey in Manchester to set up in general practice. He became a surgeon at Manchester Northern Hospital and at Manchester Union Hospital (Crumpsall). In 1876 he was appointed assistant surgeon at MRI but it was not until 1882 when he became FRCS that he could become a full surgeon at the Infirmary. He was elected to the Council of the College of Surgeon in 1894. Hardie was very successful as a surgeon, and specialized in plastic surgery for which he devised many new procedures. Hardie is believed to have been involved in unsuccessful attempts to establish a rival medical school to Owens College; he never taught at Owens College. He retired from the MRI in 1901.
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