Author: cim417

Northwestern Med School Comedies Allow Students to Showcase their Creativity

Story telling on a stage, with or without songs, dates to the beginning of Western civilization.The ancient Greeks included music and dance in many of their stage comedies and tragedies as early as the 5th Century B.C.The Romans copied and expanded the forms and traditions of Greek theater. During the Middle Ages, Europe’s cultural mainstays included traveling minstrels and roving troupes of performers that offered popular songs, slapstick comedy and drama. In the Renaissance, an Italian tradition evolved where raucous clowns improvised their way through familiar stories, known as the commedia dell’arte. These clown characters, such as Harlequin and Pulcinella, set the way for future Western stage comedy. Just because a few years are interrupted by studying medicine, dentistry or pharmacy, these traditions have not been lost at Northwestern. In fact, these Western cultural traditions have been an integral part of student life since the 1890s. At Northwestern’s schools, the annual ritual began as a gathering with alumni in 1895, including an evening dinner. These events fostered loyalty to the alma mater, influenced philanthropy, linked generations of graduates and formed alumni associations for the schools. Drama, revues, musical comedy and parody have long been the mainstay of these events. Over the years, interest waxed and waned; however, at the medical school a major change took place in 1938, with a “gridiron” imitation of members of the faculty, politics within...

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Nursing Education at Northwestern University

In 1905 the medical school administration recommended to the University trustees that the training schools for the nurses of Mercy and Wesley hospitals become affiliated with Northwestern. The curricula were placed under the general supervision of the medical school, with laboratory instruction provided by medical school faculty. A high school diploma was required for admission. Although the courses for nurses were separate from the medical students, the laboratories and other medical school facilities were freely available. Elementary laboratory instruction included anatomy, chemistry, dietetics, and bacteriology. The practical instruction for nurses was provided in each hospital. Diplomas were presented to the nursing graduates at the University’s Annual Commencement beginning in 1906. In 1911, the nursing school at Evanston Hospital was added to the affiliated program. Instruction was given in the laboratories of the College of Liberal Arts on the Evanston campus and at the hospital. The course of study, methods of instruction, and requirements for graduation was determined by a joint committee of the hospital and university. The coursework was practically the same as that required at Mercy and Wesley Memorial hospitals. By 1920, the University’s affiliation with Mercy Hospital had ceased. In 1926 the medical school moved to the new campus on Chicago Avenue, continuing the affiliation with Wesley Memorial Hospital and its nursing school, still located on the former Dearborn Street campus. Passavant Memorial Hospital, which opened in...

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Co-education at the Medical School

As an experiment in the fall session of 1869, the Chicago Medical College registered three women. However the male students complained quite vociferously that with women in the classroom, some clinical work and lecture material were omitted. At the end of the spring session of 1870, the Faculty Committee terminated the experiment. Only Dr. Mary Harris Thompson was awarded an MD ad eundem (a courtesy given to those who already had an MD). The other two women were not allowed to continue their studies. The debate concerning the admission of women continued for nearly five decades, with the usual decision of tabling the discussion. In December 1923, Mrs. Montgomery Ward provided the funding for a new Medical Center, giving additional impetus to the debate. The University administration asked the Medical Council to state its policy on the subject. Finally the announcement that women would be admitted was made on May 31, 1924, and the first women students registered in the fall of 1926. A quota of four women students was set for admission―four being the number needed for an anatomical dissecting team. This token number persisted until 1963, when nine women were registered. The 1970s marked a greater increase of women entering and graduating from medical school. By 1978 there were 60 women medical students in attendance at Northwestern University Medical School. This increase was due to both political...

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Galter Librarian Ron Sims Is a Super-sleuth

“ … this report of my death was an exaggeration.” –Mark Twain The great-great-granddaughter of Henry K. Deen, MD, recently inquired about her ancestor, but she was not sure what medical school he attended or the year he graduated.  Family lore had always said that he had graduated from the University of Louisville; however, the archivist there was not able to verify that fact. Checking my usual sources, I discovered an H. K. Deen entry in the first edition of Polk’s Medical Register and Directory of the United States and Canada (1886), living in Mauckport, Harrison County, Indiana, noted as an (R) or ‘regular,’ i.e., allopathic physician.  Generally that information is followed by a school code and year of graduation but not in this case. Dr. Deen’s great-great-granddaughter did confirm the Indiana location as correct. From the online version of the Chicago Tribune, an article on the commencement of March 5, 1862, verified that H. K. Deen of Indiana was an 1862 graduate of the Medical Department of Lind University. Further proof was found in the Fourth Annual Announcement of the Medical Department of Lind University for the college session of 1862-1863, noting the graduates of the previous session, which included H. K. Deen of Indiana, whose thesis was entitled: Veratrum Viride. The ‘Alumni List’ published in the September 1899 edition of the Bulletin of the Northwestern University Medical...

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