A Fertile Opportunity for Inclusive Language
Something has been bothering me about your “Timely Preservation” article (Winter, 2022). While the story is lovely and raises important issues, it persistently equates “having a family,” “being a mother,” and “having children” with physically giving birth. This is a disservice to the many families that are not based on this specific relationship, and propagates assumptions that can be potentially harmful, as well as painful to those for whom it is not an option or a choice. I understand that this article was specifically about fertility, and I also hope you can be more thoughtful and inclusive with your language in the future.
Tamara Doering, B.A. ’83, M.D., Ph.D. ’91
St. Louis, Missouri
I’ve read in the winter 2022 edition that Hopkins Medicine magazine has been distinguished by the Association of American Medical Colleges with the bronze award for excellence, praising the magazine for “honest, transparent stories (that) are truly fascinating.”
This is very true. I’ve read wonderful articles, special sections and seen original illustrations in many issues of the magazine, written by faculty members and other authors and collaborators.
It makes me proud again to be part of the “Hopkins family,” and receive the magazine regularly.
Frank G. Hammond, M.D., M.H.S. ’77
Fellow, Medical Genetics. 1975–77
A First, for Integration
Kudos to Richard Reynolds for his nice Second Opinion and for his role in integrating the Osler Medical Service (“A Momentous Night,” Winter). It is of note that most inpatient units were desegregated by 1960 with the exception of Psychiatry which, in 1968, was the last unit to desegregate. It was a different story for Pediatrics. Under John Howland (1912–1926), the Harriet Lane Home was segregated, but when Edwards Park became pediatrician-in-chief in 1927, one of his first decisions was to desegregate Harriet Lane, making it the first fully integrated inpatient unit at Hopkins.
Beryl Rosenstein, M.D.
Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics
I read with interest my friend Richard Reynold’s account of the integration of the Osler medical wards. He correctly dates the event to the 1957–58 clinical year, which was my senior year in medical school. The event he describes, alas, did not end the segregation of the medical wards at Hopkins.
I served my clinical rotation on Osler in the spring of 1958, and subsequently served as an Osler intern in 1958–59, and a junior AR in 1959–60. I can state unequivocally that the wards were most definitely segregated by both race and gender for my entire time on Osler, as Dr. Reynolds describes in his essay.
I am not sure exactly when the wards were fully integrated; I personally wish it had happened while I was on the house staff! Many a time there would be three or four seriously ill patients in the emergency room — all of whom happened to be Black males. In the best of all possible worlds, one patient would have ended up on Osler 2, the next on Osler 3, and so on. But under that bad old system, I, that unlucky Osler 2 intern, ended up trying to care for a diabetic in acidosis, a GI bleeder, an acute coronary and a stroke victim, all at once.
My favorite item from Dr. Reynolds’ essay concerns Physician-in Chief A. McGehee Harvey’s response to the request to integrate the wards. That consummate physician and marvelous human being insisted that, in the end, the patient’s best interests be served. That, after all, is what Johns Hopkins is all about.
William H. Jarrett II, M.D.
Editor’s Note: Thanks very much to those who wrote with recollections of this period, including Larry M. Lieb ’58, who was an Osler resident in 1959, the year following the experience described by Richard Reynolds in “A Momentous Night.” Lieb recalled the wards still being segregated by race when he received a call one night from an attending resident. “He asked if I had a bed available for a new patient and I did. He said that the [Black] women’s ward was filled and that he had a sick patient who had to be admitted and was sending her up to the White women’s ward. Subsequently several women of color were admitted to my ward,” Lieb wrote.