« PreviousContinue »
the full power to say who “should enter” the profession, and "fix the conditions”; had regulated the courses of study, and had alone conferred the degree of M.D. In order to get the coöperation and aid of this Society, the College acceded to many demands raised by them. But with broad-spirited concessions all differences concerned in the establishment of the school were removed, and in 1810, on joint application of the Connecticut Society and Yale College, the charter for the “Medical Institution” was granted by the Legislature.
By this charter the control of the school, from the first, was left as largely in the hands of the Connecticut Medical Society as in those of the College. The appointment of professors was made by a joint committee chosen equally from the representatives of the two bodies, as was also the examining committee for the graduating students. This close and important participation of the Medical Society in the management continued for many years and, though the charter of the school was revised several times, these two essential features of the organic connection, namely, a share in the appointment of professors, and examination of graduates, were preserved unchanged.
The charter had been granted and the money appropriated in 1810, but the professors for the various chairs were not appointed until 1812, and the work of the school did not begin until the fall
This was begun in the house which is now South Sheffield Hall. This house, built for a hotel by the Hon. James Hillhouse, was bought, along with the plot of ground adjoining, from the appropriated money, and altered to suit the necessities of such a school. The adjoining lot was designed for a botanical garden. For forty-five years—until the time of removal to its present position on York Street—the Medical School was located here.
The instruction given at first comprised but five departments, those of Materia Medica; Surgery and Obstetrics; Theory and Practice of Medicine, and Chemistry and Pharmacy; Anatomy and Physiology.
After a search for the right man to lead the new undertaking, Dr. Nathan Smith, a graduate of the Harvard Medical School and the founder of the Dartmouth Medical School, was chosen. He took the chair of Surgery. Before coming to Yale he had studied in Europe, and was already well known in New England. His later work in surgery was original and far in advance of his time, as is attested by the fact that he and McDowell of Kentucky, each ignorant of the performance of the other, first extir
pated ovarian tumors; also that he first performed the operation for uniting a cleft palate, and that his methods for reducing dislocations were adopted by the best surgeons in all parts of the country. Besides this he instituted a new method of amputation which bears his name.
The associates of Dr. Smith were Doctors Eli Ives and Jonathan Knight, and Dr. Benjamin Silliman. By them the whole instruction was carried on unchanged until the year 1829.
Dr. Munson had been appointed to the chair of a Materia Medica, but at that time he was well advanced in years, and it was understood that Dr. Ives, his friend and pupil, who was professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine, would perform the active duties of the position. Dr. Ives was a graduate of Yale in the class of 1799. His medical studies had been pursued for the most part with his father, a physician in New Haven. Dr. Ives in later years became a famous botanist, gathered in the Botanical Garden," the best collection of indigenous plants up to that time, and, in recognition of the worth of his additions to botanical knowledge, he was honored by membership to societies in Great Britain and on the Continent. He was a prominent member of the Convention in 1820 which made the first Pharmacopoea, and at its second meeting in 1830 became the president.
The chair of Anatomy fell to Dr. Jonathan Knight, through the inability of Dr. Coggswell, who had been appointed to the position, to fill it. Dr. Knight had graduated at Yale in the class of 1808, and had studied medicine in New Haven and Philadelphia. He was a great scholar, but more than that he seems to have had a powerful influence over the men with whom he was thrown in contact, as is shown by the fact that those whom he taught considered him, by far, the most able instructor of his time in Human Anatomy.
Benjamin Silliman, the world renowned chemist and physicist, was included among the Medical faculty as Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacy. His professorship in Yale College did not prevent his giving, by special arrangement, instruction to the medical students also. This arrangement continued to exist between the Medical School and College proper until the year 1867. Of the original instructors, Silliman and Knight remained in connection with the school for fifty-one years each; Ives for forty-seven years; and Smith for seventeen. It will be noticed that Smith was the only graduate from a medical college on the original faculty, but that the other three were all graduates of Yale.
In the first fifteen years, three hundred and forty-nine men were graduated from the school, that is, up to the time of Dr. Smith's death, two hundred and seventy-four receiving the degree of M.D., while seventy-five received a license to practice in certain lines.
Of the two hundred and seventy-four men, fifty-seven were college graduates, or about twenty-one per cent of them. All but fifteen came from Yale, they from other colleges, principally Brown, Union and Dartmouth. This proportion of college graduates did not increase for many years, and is, perhaps, an approximate index in the minds of most educated men of how the medical profession was regarded at the time. In the class of 1829, the largest class that ever graduated from the school, there were thirty-six men; the next largest being that of 1826 when thirty men, and the second that of 1828, when twenty-nine men graduated. These numbers include, in each case, only the Doctors of Medicine.
In the fall of 1813 thirty-one men matriculated, but only three, at the end of the two years' course, in the spring of 1814, took an M.D.
Of the two hundred and seventy-four Doctors of Medicine of the first sixteen years came two Presidents of the Ohio Medical Society; five of the Connecticut Society; eight medical professors, one each to Western Reserve University, Ohio Medical College, Dean Medical School, University of Vermont, Jefferson Medical College,'Dartmouth, Geneva Medical College and Yale.
It was a singular coincidence that, of all the graduates up to the year 1829, not one brought more credit on the school than the first matriculant, J. P. Kirtiand. He later became Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Western Reserve University, President of the Ohio Medical Society, and was widely known here and abroad for his contributions to natural history and horticulture. From nearly every class came one man, at least, who later distinguished himself in medicine, to say nothing of the general excellence shown by the majority of the graduates. Under the original faculty, from the first a high standard of excellence for the times had been set, for “they were all men of attainment and uncommon zeal in their work."
At the death of Dr. Smith some rearrangement was made in the instruction board of the schcol. Dr. Ives moved to the chair of Materia Medica; Dr. William Tully took the chair vacated by Dr. Ives. The Professorship of Surgery and Obstetrics was divided into two, Dr. Hubbard took that of Surgery and Dr. Timothy Beers that of Obstetrics, thus making six chairs in all.
MEDICAL SOCIETY REPORTS.
HARTFORD MEDICAL SOCIETY.-The regular meeting was held Monday evening, February 17th, in the lecture room of the physical laboratory of Trinity College. Prof. Robb and Dr. Wolff exhibited specimens of the work they have recently done with the new photography. Dr. Wolff has made lantern slides of most of the negatives and they were exhibited on the screen.
Prof. Robb then gave a most interesting and instructive lecture on the new rays, explaining the scientific points that led to their discovery. He also spoke at some length on the undulatory theory of light. The transparency of different substances concerning the X-rays was touched upon. An informal discussion followed, when the subject was considered surgically. There were sixty-five doctors present and all agreed that too much praise could not be given Doctors Robb and Wolff for their work.
New HAVEN MEDICAL Society.–The regular monthly gathering took place at the house of Dr. C. A. Lindsley on the evening of February 5th.
An amendment to Article XXII, Section 2, was lost.
Upon the motion of Dr. Eliot the relation of cases was omitted, in view of the fact that Dr. Geo. Henry Fox of New York was to give them a talk. The doctor was then introduced. He announced his subject as "Syphilis," saying that he was not to read a paper, but that he would give an illustrated talk. He claimed that the signs of syphilis were known only by seeing them, and that the diagnosis was always written on the skin. That they might read more easily he had displayed on a curtain one hundred finely selected lantern slides. The old division of lesions into primary, secondary, etc., he believed, had become almost obsolete. He preferred the denomination of first and second year syphilides, and manifestations after that were recognized as among the second year lesions. The first year syphilides were usually disseminated, the second year syphilides unsymmetrical and localized. The nearer in point of time to the infection, they had a greater tendency to be scattered, and the farther from infection, to be localized. Several remarkably clear and fine pictures of the first year lesions were then shown: chancres; macular-syphilides; maculo-papular manifestations;
papular syphilides, the diagnosis of which depended upon the firm fleshy feel, rather than the so-called copper-color; pustular syphilides which appear in individuals of low vitality; a circinate form about the mouth, having very much the appearance of ringworm; scaling papules upon palms and soles where the scaling was marked about the border, which were frequently found three or four months after infection. In the poorly nourished he remarked, the lesions had a tendency to become pustular. A particularly interesting slide showed a patient with Hutchinsonian teeth and at the same time profuse syphilides, which showed either that that style of teeth did not always indicate syphilis or that an individual already marked with hereditary signs could acquire the disease. The axiom that all sypliilities are liars he believed to be false, for it was probable, in females especially, of whom he mentioned the ninety per cent, that the initial lesions were so trivial as to be unnoticed.
Introductory to the second set of slides, he said that after the first year there was a lull, then the lesions appeared larger, with a tendency to soften, ulcerate and form crusts, appearing in certain locality preferably and in groups. The scars left by them were white and so indistinct as scarcely to be seen. variety of lesions were shown of this period, vegetating growths, ulcers of the leg, scalings, papules of the hand, serpigenous syphilides, in all of which was pointed out either the circinate or circular forms which he showed to be the strong point in diagnosis. He had seen no typical cicatrix. A number of faint white cicatrices about the knee were suggestive, but the diagnosis depended upon the circular arrangement. He did not believe that syphilis had changed its type. He predicted that in five years some of our present manifestations would no longer be seen, if more care was taken in administration of mercury. No affection was so amenable to treatment. Our mistake was that treated too much the disease and too little the individual.
He pointed out hygenic measures as the main sheet anchor of the treatment. When mercury and potassium iodide had “no effect," so-called, then milk, eggs and fresh air were indicated for two weeks without a dose of medicine; one-fifth grain of the protiodide would then prove efficacious. Dr. Fox concluded his remarks with the relation of a most obstinate case, which had improved very rapidly under these precautions. After a vote of thanks had been extended to the gentleinan, the society was served with an elaborate lunch in the dining room, which had been very prettily decorated for the occasion.