Tuesday, February 11, 2020

National Women Physicians Day

Oops! I forgot to post this last week. But regardless, we celebrate all of our Women Physicians every day!

Unfortunately, we are not exactly certain who our first woman member was, but in 1882, the Faculty changed its by-laws to read "members" instead of "gentlemen." By that time, women and African Americans were attending medical school and wanted to join their fellow physicians at the Medical & Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland. 

In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell became the United States' first licensed woman physician after having been famously allowed to attend medical school as a joke. February 3 is National Women Physicians Day, to honor the birthday of Dr. Blackwell. 

Although admitting women was a requirement to get the funding to open Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the University of Maryland's School of Medicine only admitted women in 1919

However, the Women's Medical College existed at the time in Baltimore and was solely for women. 
 One of the most famous early woman physicians, at least in Baltimore, is the art collector, Claribel Cone.
Gertrude Stein, who attended Johns Hopkins, never actually graduated, and she and Sir William Osler were mortal enemies. 

We know that women are known for "getting it done" and this Eastern Shore physician took to her horse to see patients during the fuel crisis of the early 1970's. 

We are thankful for all of our physician members who are women (and the men, too!).

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

It's Our Birthday!

Seriously, I don't think we look a day over 200!
The Medical & Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland
Founded January 20, 1799.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Isaac Trimble's House at 8 W. Madison Street

Isaac Ridgeway Trimble, MD, was an energetic young physician in Baltimore at the turn of the 19th/20th century. He had everything: good looks, talent as a physician, enough money and a gorgeous house. But, sadly, he didn't have a long life, dying in his 40s from blood poisoning from a cut during surgery.
Recently, someone sent me some interior images of the most beautiful flat in Mount Vernon. I fell in love with it, and went to see it, with the slight possibility of buying it. When I did a little research, I found that the house had belonged to Dr. Trimble in the early 1900's. 

Mrs. I. R. Trimble purchased the house in September of 1900. By May of 1901, the Trimbles were making extensive improvements to No. 8 West Madison, as noted in this May 1901 newspaper article.
And what improvements he made! The most interesting feature, and the one we couldn't figure out when we saw the space (before I did some research) was why there were two front doors. If I'd known it was a physician's house, it would have all been clear! The right, and less showy entrance was for the office, and the left and more elaborate, was for the residence. 
As the article says, the front door is modeled on the Hammond-Harwood House in Annapolis. See the resemblance?  I would guess that the door at 8 West is a replacement door and would have originally been double like the ones below.
Once you enter the family side, the door frames are really incredible! 
The inspiration for the swan-neck door surround is from the John Carrère House. 
Carrère and Hastings were a major beaux arts-style architecture firm and were responsible for the look of Mount Vernon Place. 

The article says that the drawing room, library and dining room were all on the second floor, which, when you see the space makes sense. Here are some of the pictures of the space. 

The flat is a studio, with about 850 square feet of space. There is one large room, with a kitchen, a bath and some closets. The long hallway has some built in book cases, as well as a lovely Palladian window with a cozy seat. 
It is always so amazing when the different facets of life intersect. You can see more images from the listing here

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

18 Tiny Deaths Book Launch on February 5 at MedChi

18 Tiny Deaths:
The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics

MedChi and the Center for a Healthy Maryland are proud to host the launch for 18 Tiny Deaths on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. in MedChi's historic Osler Hall at 1211 Cathedral Street. Author Bruce Goldfarb of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has lectured at MedChi several times, both about the OCME and the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, which are housed at the OCME's offices in Baltimore.

Bruce is the leading expert on the Nutshells, and worked closely with the Smithsonian Institute which restored these 80-year old dioramas two years ago. In his eight years at the OCME, Bruce has had the opportunity to examine the Nutshells in minute detail, and understand their importance. He's written this book discussing each of the 18 known murder studies to great acclaim:

"A culmination of years of historical research using primary sources, including the papers of Frances Glessner Lee herself. It is the story of how one stubborn, intelligent, creative, and self-taught woman could immerse herself in a passion that had immense repercussions in the fields of both medicine and the law... As this absorbing and evocative book will show you, Frances Glessner Lee should be recognized as the matriarch of the modern practice of forensic pathology." - Judy Melinek, M.D., co-author of Working Stiff

MedChi and the OCME have a long history: In 1939, MedChi petitioned the Maryland General Assembly to abolish the county coroner system and establish a state-wide medical examiners' office, the first in the nation.

Greedy Reads, an independent bookstore in Remington and Fells Point, will be selling copies of "18 Tiny Deaths" and Bruce will be available to sign them at the event.
Reservations are required for this event, and space is limited.
Please RSVP to events at medchi dot org before February 2, 2020.
Parking, inclement weather plans, and other information will be shared as we move closer to the date.
For questions, please email 
events at medchi dot org.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Centenary of the Death of Sir William Osler, MD

It was December 30, 1919 when the news arrived in Baltimore that Sir William Osler, MD, had died in Oxford the previous day. His health had been declining since the death of his beloved son, Revere, in August of 1917, during WWI. 
After Revere's death, Sir William continued to work cataloging his library, and on textbook revisions. He made sure to keep busy, so he wouldn't dwell on this tragedy. 
In the summer of 1919, he got bronchitis, and several months later, he came down with what was probably influenza. The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 was waning, but not over. 

At the annual meeting of the Medical & Chirurgical Faculty, Sir William was honored on the occasion of his 70th birthday, and the Faculty sent a cable to him:
"The Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland, in session, unanimously extends "The Chief" on his 70th anniversary, greetings, congratulations and love."
Throughout his illness, he kept up his correspondences with friends around the world, including his friends at the Faculty. He knew his time was short, and he began making lists for the disposition of special items, all bestowed with special notes indicating why he was sending them.

In November of 1919, Sir William had contracted pneumonia, and was in serious condition. 
In mid-December, news came in that Sir William was on the mend. 
But by December 26, it was reported that Sir William had had surgery for empyema, which is usually associated with pneumonia. 
Sir William died at 4:30 on the afternoon of December 29, 1919. His passing was described by some lines by Shelly, which he once quoted in a letter to the Editor of the Spectator: 

Mild is the slow necessity of death:
The tranquil spirit falls beneath its grasp,
Without a groan, almost without a fear,
Resigned in peace to the necessity;
Calm as a voyager to some distant land;
And fill of wonder, full of hope as he.

Word of his death made the front page of the Baltimore Sun on Tuesday, December 30, with a long article, and a large photograph. 
His death was blamed, in part, on a train strike in the UK, which caused him to make a two-day car trip from Oxford to Glasgow, Scotland. On the drive, he caught a cold, which lead to pneumonia and his eventual death. 

Osler’s body lay in the Lady Chapel, Christ Church, until the afternoon of January 1, 1920, when the service was read. The same day, at many places throughout the world, similar services took place. In Baltimore, at Old St. Paul’s Church, the Rev. Almon Abbott  preached the funeral sermon. 

A call was put out to physicians and friends in Baltimore to attend the service which was held just a few blocks south of Osler's former home on the corner of Franklin and Charles Streets. 

On January 13, 1920, a memorial service was held at the Faculty, where Sir William had served as President in 1896, and where he was instrumental in establishing its medical library and much more. 
By March of 1920, Dr. Harvey Cushing, a close friend of Sir William's, had been chosen by Lady Osler to write the biography of her husband. The two-volume book went on to win a Pulitzer Prize. Cushing was also present when Revere Osler died in France. 

Sir William and Lady Grace Osler are both interred at the Osler Library at McGill University in Montreal. 
Sir William Osler, MD
July 12, 1849 - December 29, 1919

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Happy Holidays!

From All of Us at MedChi and 
the Center for a Healthy Maryland
Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

John Dabour, Artist

Dr. Allan Jensen recently shared an article from the University of Rochester's Review Magazine. It was from the "Ask the Archivist" columnist about a painting in their collection, one Azariah Boody. What struck me was that MedChi has two portraits by the same artist... John Dabour.
Dabour, as he signs his paintings, was born in Turkey in 1837, and trained in Paris. He emigrated to Baltimore, year unknown. By the 1870's, he was receiving commissions for some of Baltimore's more well-known citizens, including Johns Hopkins and Daniel Coit Gilman. Although we have a painting of Gilman in our collection, it's not by Dabour. 

Our two paintings are Dr. John Hawkins Patterson
and Dr. Charles Frick. 
Unlike the painting at Rochester, which is a pastel over a photograph, ours both appear to be paintings on their own.

While there are pages of biographical and laudatory information, as well as a good biography on Charles Frick
in the Medical Annals of Maryland Medicine, there is scant mention of John Patterson, who barely gets four lines!

Most of the information we have on Dr. Patterson comes from an article in the Maryland Medical Journal about the presentation of this painting to the Faculty by his daughter in 1907. 

In this piece, it is mentioned that the painting is by "well-known artist, J. Dabour."