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Washington University School of Medicine Faculty as seen (and snapped) by the Class of 1939 (Darwin Neubauer and Edward H. Reinhard Photographs, VC004)

Fig. 1: Grand rounds in Barnes Hospital Amphitheatre (“The Pit”), ca 1939.
Fig. 1: Grand rounds in Barnes Hospital Amphitheatre (“The Pit”), ca 1939.

Fig. 2: Summary medical curriculum, Bulletin of WUSM, 1938Darwin Neubauer and Edward H. Reinhard collected 17 snapshots taken by their classmates of the Washington University Class of 1939. The informal pictures include a bird’s eye view of grand rounds in the Barnes Hospital amphitheater (the Pit), but they are mainly portraits of faculty who taught the WUSM Class of 1939. I have arranged faculty pictures in two groups, those who taught the basic sciences and those who taught at the bedside and in the clinic. A description of the medical curriculum 75 years ago from the 1938 Bulletin is given. Faculty taught the basic sciences in classrooms and labs the first two years and they held classes  in the clinic and at the bedside in the last two years.

Thirteen snapshots are shown here. No photos of women faculty or people of color are in the collection.  Two women are in the front row of the grand rounds photograph.  To add diversity, we add a few photos from the Helen Graham Photographs (VC049) and E.V. Cowdry photographs (VC043).

IFig. 3: Robert J. Terry, taught human dissection with Mildred Trotter, ca. 1939Instruction in the Basic sciences, ca. 1939 (Drs. Terry, Trotter, Shaffer, Erlanger, Bronfenbrenner, Carl Cori and Helen Tredway Graham, Cowdry)

Fig. 5: C.V Cowdry, teacher of histology and neurology courses, ca. 1939.






Fig. 6: Joseph Erlanger, teacher of Physiology, ca. 1939.The first period includes the first and second years. During this time the student studies the Fig. 7: J.J. Bronfenbrenner, Bacteriology and “Infection and Immunity, ca. 1939fundamental sciences of anatomy, biological chemistry, physiology, bacteriology, pathology and pharmacology. For this first period, the interest of the student is concentrated primarily on the scientific basis of medicine, and every effort is made to train the faculty of critical and independent observation. Anatomy and biological chemistry are studied during the first year. In the second half of this year, the study of physiology begins. During the first third of the second year physiology and bacteriology are completed; and during the remainder of the year the major portions of the courses in pharmacology and pathology are given, and physical diagnosis, medical observation, clinical chemistry and microscopy, and surgical technic are introduced, in preparation for the clinical work of the second period of training (Bulletin of Washington University School of Medicine. 1938, 48).”

Fig. 8: Carl Cori, taught pharmacology with Helen Tredway Graham,” ca. 1939.Fig. 4: Philip A. Shaffer, teacher of biological chemistry, ca. 1939.

Instruction at the bedside and the clinic (Dean, Schwarz, Evarts Graham, James Barrett Brown, and Rose), ca. 1939.

Fig. 9: Lee W. Dean, Sr., Otolaryngology clinic,” ca. 1939.Fig. 10: Otto H. Schwarz, obstetrics and gynecology, ca. 1939.The second period, extending through the last two years, is devoted primarily to clinical work. The student receives practical instruction in the clinics and in the hospital wards of medicine, surgery, obstetrics and pediatrics and of the medical and surgical specialties. The work in the clinics occupies from six to eight hours per week for a year or more. Here the students under supervision act as physicians and as surgical dressers. During his assignment to the wards of the hospitals the student at first is given practice and instruction in history taking, physical examination and elementary diagnosis and may then spend his entire day in the wards with duties differing little from those of a junior Fig. 12: James Barrett Brown at a surgical procedure, ca. 1939.  intern. During this period courses are given in neurological pathology, surgical and gynecological pathology and in operative surgery on animals. Special emphasis is placed upon diagnosis of disease and treatment of patients. There are few purely didactic lectures. Instruction is given in clinics and at the bedside.

Fig. 11: Evarts Graham, Surgery, ca. 1939.Fig. 13. Dr. D.K. Rose, holding a urethroscope, ca. 1939.


Whats is missing: Diversity in faculty and students

Fig. 14 Women at the Washington University School of Medicine, 1939

Caption: Women at the Washington University School of Medicine, 1939

Description: Some of the female faculty and students of the Washington University School of Medicine in June 1939. Standing, from left to right: unidentified; Irene Koechig Freiberg (instructor in Biological Chemistry); Helen Margaret Aff, (assistant in Clinical Pediatrics); Mildred Trotter (associate professor of Anatomy); Frances H. Stewart, (assistant in Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology); Valentina Suntzeff, (research assistant in Pathology); Ruth Fleming (class of 1939); Gerty T. Cori, (research associate in Pharmacology); Dorothy Jeannette Jones, (assistant in Clinical Pediatrics); Anne Macgregor Perley (instructor in Biological Chemistry in Pediatrics); unidentified; Bernice Albert (class of 1941).; Seated: Mary Catherine McFayden, (class of 1940); Margaret Gladys Smith, (assistant professor of Pathology); Marion Dakin (class of 1938, intern at Barnes Hospital); Anne Carlton Tompkins (class of 1941); Fern Harrington Greaves (class of 1940); Helen Tredway Graham (associate professor of Pharmacology); Ruth Campbell Martin (class of 1941); Margaret Annand Ingram (class of 1939).

This snapshot in the Helen Tredway Graham photographs captures some of the female students and faculty outdoors in June 1939.  Most of these women are profiled in our Women in the health sciences exhibit.  Commencement was June 6, 1939 and this gathering could have been related, although the women aren’t in commencement robes.   Helen Tredway Graham was associate professor of Pharmacology and she sits in the 1939 picture 3rd from right in the front row. The medical students who surround her took her course in Pharmacology as third years.  She taught Pharmacology and Pharmacology lab course with Drs. Cori and A. de M. Welch.   Gerty Cori, her colleague in Pharmacology, stands right of Valentina Suntzeff in the center of the last row.  Gerty Cori was Research Associate in Pharmacology in and worked with many students on research investigations in Pharmacology. She was soon to be promoted to Associate Professor in 1943 and to full Professor in 1947, only months before she won the Nobel Prize. 

Margaret Smith, assistant professor of pathology is another faculty member in the first row of the 1939 photo.  The medical students knew here from their 2nd year courses in Pathology and conduct of autopsies, 2nd and 3rd year courses in gross pathology, and the clinicopathologic conferences.


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