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History of Johns Hopkins Medicine

Johns Hopkins History

Over a century ago, the Quaker merchant Johns Hopkins did more than provide in his will for the construction of a university, a hospital and a medical school.  He provided a vision of a unique university-based health center, one with a vital mission: to create a learning, training and caring environment where the quest for new knowledge would continuously yield more effective and compassionate care for all. Today, after a century of progress that even its founder could not have envisioned, the quest for new knowledge leading to better health care remains the defining mission of Johns Hopkins Medicine. The original faculty of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, including such pioneers of modern medicine as William H. Welch, William S. Halsted, William Osler and Howard A. Kelly, created a revolutionary new medical curriculum that integrated a rigorous program of basic science education with intensive clinical mentoring. With the opening of The Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1889, followed four years later by the School of Medicine, these founding physicians ushered in a new era in medical education marked by rigid entrance requirements for students, a vastly upgraded curriculum with emphasis on the scientific method, the incorporation of bedside teaching and laboratory research as part of the instruction, and integration of the School of Medicine with the Hospital through joint appointments. 

Hopkins' Firsts

William S. Halsted, M.D., performs an operation in Hopkins' first operating room with the aid of handpicked star residents. Johns Hopkins, counted many "firsts" among its achievements during its early years: the first major medical school in the United States to admit women; pioneer in the use of rubber gloves during surgery; and the first to conceptualize renal dialysis.
Other accomplishments include the discovery of vitamin D, the identification of the three types of polio virus, development of CPR and the first "blue baby" operation, which opened the way to modern heart surgery. Hopkins also was the birthplace of many specialties, including neurosurgery, urology, endocrinology and pediatrics. The William H. Welch Medical Library, which is located on Hopkins' 44-acre campus in Baltimore, Maryland, is one of the largest medical libraries in the country. The library houses the medical literature in all fields of teaching, patient care and research represented at Johns Hopkins, and contains more than 370,000 bound volumes and an extensive audiovisual collection. Hopkins' historic domed administration building, named for John Shaw Billings, the physician administrator who was the intellectual architect of the original Hospital, stands as a familiar image of Johns Hopkins Medicine. It is a symbol of the many people working daily to provide the best possible care to patients, to train tomorrow's physicians and to challenge the frontiers of science through research. 

Department of Surgery History

William S. Halsted, M.D. When The Johns Hopkins Hospital opened, a young surgeon from New York, William S. Halsted, M.D., was chosen as the first Surgeon-in-Chief, Halsted laid the foundation for surgical training as we now know it in the United States. In an address on the "Training of the Surgeon" presented at Yale in 1904, Halsted said,
"We need a system and we will surely have it - which will produce not only surgeons, but surgeons of the highest type, who will stimulate the finest youths of their country to study surgery, and to devote their energies and their lives to raising the standards of surgical science."

Halsted founded a residency training program that dramatically changed the way in which surgeons were trained. Before Halsted, surgical training was a haphazard series of preceptorships without a definite end. Halsted believed that surgical training should be accomplished in a set period of time, have a progressive increase in responsibility and operative experience, and have a final period of independent activity. These important principles have been maintained at Johns Hopkins despite recent pressures to eliminate independent activity. Today, the following departments and their respective surgeons-in-chief comprise the Section of Surgical Sciences which is under the direction of Richard Schulick, M.D.

Departments (Respective Directors)

Julie Freischlag, M.D.

Gynecology and Obstetrics
Andrew Satin, M.D.

Neurological Surgery
Henry Brem, M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
W.P. Andrew Lee, M.D.

Orthopedic Surgery
James Ficke, M.D.

Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
David Eisele, M.D.

Alan Partin, M.D.

Divisions/Centers (Respective Chiefs)

Breast Surgery
David Euhus, M.D.

Cardiothoracic Surgery
Duke E. Cameron, M.D.

Critical Care Surgery
Pamela Lipsett, M.D.

Gastrointestinal Surgery
Jonathan Efron, M.D.

Pediatric Surgery
Paul M. Colombani, M.D.

Vascular Surgery
James Black, M.D.

Surgical Oncology/Endocrinology
Timothy Pawlik, M.D.

David Efron, M.D.

Transplant Surgery
Robert Montgomery, M.D.

Thoracic Surgery
Richard Battafarano, M.D.

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