Author: acc945

The School of Pharmacy of Northwestern University (1886-1917)

The School of Pharmacy of Northwestern University opened its doors Oct. 1, 1886, was placed under the complete control of the University in 1891, changed facilities, underwent a number of curricular transitions, and graduated many students, until combining into the program at University of Illinois in June 1917. Though the duration of the program at Northwestern University was relatively brief, interest in the School of Pharmacy as a part of Northwestern University’s history remains to this day. Early Years The official initiative favoring the establishment of a school of pharmacy in connection with Northwestern University was taken by the executive committee of the board of trustees at its regular meeting in April 1886. A resolution was then adopted. This action was taken upon the motion of Dr. David R. Dyche, a member of the board of trustees of the University and of its executive committee, and a pharmacist in active business in Chicago. Conferences were held with other prominent pharmacists and with men of experience in pharmaceutical educational work. The result was the incorporation of a school called Illinois College of Pharmacy and at the annual meeting of the board of trustees in June, the school thus incorporated was, by agreement with the incorporators, formally adopted as a department of Northwestern University. The school opened its doors Oct. 1, 1886 in quarters formerly occupied by the Library of the...

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Engaged in the Service of Healthcare Policy

When Alan R. Nelson, ’58 MD, graduated from Northwestern, he returned to his home state of Utah to embark on a busy career as an internist specializing in endocrinology. An idealist, though, he was not content to simply practice medicine: Nelson soon became a moving force in helping to shape national healthcare policy. In 1971, he was chosen to head a Utah Medical Association (UMA) committee to develop a quality assurance mechanism for state medical care ‒ resulting in a grant to develop a statewide peer review program. This step became the first in a staircase of healthcare policy advising appointments. Five years later, he was elected UMA president, followed by a seat on the American Medical Association (AMA) board of trustees in 1977. A series of positions on various AMA committees culminated in Nelson serving as the organization’s president from 1989-90. During his tenure as AMA president, he led the development of several initiatives including the Health Access America Program ‒ an initiative of the AMA to improve access to affordable, high-quality health care. During much of his time as a mover and shaker in his profession, he retained his private practice in Salt Lake City. After his leadership position at the AMA, his medical-political career continued: from 1991-92, he was the World Medical Association President. He continued seeing patients until he became chief executive officer of the...

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‘Father of Transplantation’ Honed Skills at Northwestern

Thomas E. Starzl, MD/PhD ’52, ’82 H, performed the world’s first successful human liver transplant at the University of Colorado (CU) in 1967. A pioneer in organ transplantation, Dr. Starzl advanced the field from refining the surgical principles that made it possible to insert a new liver into a human patient to introducing the use of immunosuppressants to prevent organ rejection. While Dr. Starzl credited his mother, a nurse, with his initial interest in medicine, everything that led to his being known as the “Father of Transplantation” started at Northwestern University, he has said. During his years as a Markle Scholar in Medical Science and faculty member at the medical school (1959-61), he perfected in dogs the same liver transplant techniques he would later use on patients when an organ transplant was their only chance of survival. The path to discovery wasn’t easy, but Dr. Starzl would eventually refine two key surgical principals to achieving a successful liver transplant: the venovenous bypass and core cooling of the donor liver in Ringer’s solution. Venovenous bypass protects the venous beds of the intestine, kidneys and hindquarters from clotting or rupturing during placement of the new liver. Core cooling prevents the donor tissue from deterioration. After graduating from Northwestern, this Iowa native completed a surgical internship at Johns Hopkins University. Surgical residencies followed at the University of Miami and the former VA...

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Surgery Pioneer Forged Bold Legacy

John Benjamin Murphy, MD, LLD, MSc, served as professor of surgery at Northwestern from 1901 to 1905. Following a brief hiatus at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, he returned to Northwestern in 1908. He was chief of surgery at Mercy Hospital, Northwestern’s first teaching hospital, from 1895 until his death in 1916. Born in a log cabin near Appleton, Wisconsin, in 1857, Dr. Murphy attended a country grade school.  The Murphy family physician, Dr. H.W. Reilly, became one of the young boy’s heroes, as well as much later, his preceptor in medicine.  After completing his anatomical and physiological studies under Dr. Reilly’s guidance, Dr. Murphy entered Rush Medical College in 1877 and graduated in 1879. Following an internship at Cook County Hospital, he became an associate of Dr. Edward W. Lee in private practice. A new era of medicine arrived from Europe in the mid-19th century, with the discoveries of Robert Koch, Louis Pasteur and the germ theory. Under the tutelage of Dr. Christian Fenger and his pathology studies, Dr. Murphy was eager to learn more.  In September 1882, he traveled to Europe to study. He returned to Chicago in the spring of 1884 and re-joined Dr. Lee. On May 4, 1886, the great Haymarket Riot erupted in Chicago, and Dr. Murphy was called to help with emergency cases at Cook County Hospital.  As a result of...

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Advancing Cardiac Care at the Turn of the Century

Newell Clark Gilbert (1880-1953) received his medical degree from Northwestern University in 1907. Following his internship at St. Luke’s Hospital, Dr. Gilbert began teaching at Northwestern’s dispensary almost immediately, an activity he continued his entire life, except for a period of service in the Medical Corps of the Army during World War I. Simultaneously, he worked as a general practitioner in Chicago Heights, for the first seven years of his teaching career. He was appointed to the staff of St. Luke’s Hospital in 1916 and promptly began the expansion of the Social Service and Outpatient Departments. With the cooperation of the women’s board of the hospital, he acquired one of the first electrocardiographs in Chicago. For years, he operated the Electrocardiograph Department almost single-handedly. In June 1921, a group of physicians, including Dr. Gilbert, met to discuss the formation of a heart association in Chicago. In May 1922, the Association for the Prevention and Relief of Heart Disease was launched. At the first meeting of the Board of Governors, Dr. Gilbert was chosen chair of the executive committee, a position he held until 1928. He served as president of the organization, which became the Chicago Heart Association, from 1935 until 1940. He served continuously on the executive committee until 1951, at which time he was transferred to the Honorary Board of Governors, In addition to his work in cardiology,...

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