Author: cim417

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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Training at the Chicago Maternity Center

Alumnus Tim Hunter, MD ’68, sent Ward Rounds journal entries from his training days as a fourth-year medical student, serving for two weeks at the Chicago Maternity Center. Here we share some excerpts and invite you to tell us about your experiences. In addition, alumnus David Kerns, MD ’68, is writing a book about his experiences at the CMC that is due out in 2013. “Fortnight on Maxwell Street:  A Novel” is “true fiction,” a medical student’s trial-by-fire delivering babies in Chicago’s housing projects and tenements in the early spring of 1968. It is a tale of fear and courage, choice and consequence, set amid extreme poverty and racial tension in the days immediately preceding and following the assassination of Martin Luther King.   January 14, 1968 Getting off the “L” at Halsted was very weird – nobody around, fresh snow by the Circle campus, and a sinking feeling in my stomach. At 9:05 I arrived at the Maternity Center, a dump of a building at the corner of Newbury and Maxwell. Dr. Jack Casper oriented us as to our duties and then turned us over to Jane, a nurse who talked for 2-3 hours on the setups and equipment we would be using. About this time, I volunteered to go out with Jack and Betty Lou for a call concerning a para XIII, gr XII who was bleeding....

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Memories of Loyal Davis, MD

Submitted by James J. Monge’, MD ’55 (Excerpts from 4-page letter written April 5, 2012.) We encourage other alums to share their recollections of Loyal Davis, MD, who was named chair of the Department of Surgery at Northwestern in 1933 and remained in that post until 1963. He inspired and trained many physicians and surgeons during his years at Northwestern. He achieved emeritus status in 1964.   My relationships with Dr. Loyal Davis tended to alternate with each year I was at Northwestern Medical Center, as you will gather from the following: In the first quarter of school, all freshman students were required to arrive at the medical school at 8 a.m. dressed in jacket, shirt, and tie to meet with Dr. Davis. Students were asked to stand, introduce themselves, share where they had grown up and which college they had attended. When I was called upon, I mentioned having graduated from the University of Chicago. Dr. Davis immediately launched into a long dismissal of the U of C based on the chancellor who had canceled football… . I with some temerity stated that I liked the University of Chicago and thought I had received an excellent education. Looking displeased, Dr. Davis brought out a notebook, asked me to spell my name, and wrote it down. Needless to say, I regretted saying anything, although, nothing ever came of it....

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