Digital Archive

A Personal History of Bexar County Medicine

An oral history interview recorded in February 1980 at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. Perry W. Nadig talks with Dr. Byron W. Wyatt, a pioneer San Antonio physician. Dr. Wyatt’s reminiscences include his early days at the Santa Rosa and Robert B. Green Hospitals, and his interaction with the Herff medical family and Dr. P.I. Nixon of San Antonio.

Anatomists and their art

In October 2011, Dr. Charleen Moore, Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Health Science Center’s Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, gave a fascinating presentation on “Anatomists and Their Art” which featured many of the most important works in the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.  Dr. Moore explained the interrelationship between anatomical study and art by looking at:

  • Artists who dissected (such as Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer),
  • Anatomists who drew (such as Robert Hooke and the Bell brothers), and
  • Anatomists who teamed up with artists (as  Vesalius did with van Calcar, or Albinus did with Wandelaar).

You can see and hear Dr. Moore’s presentation (28 minutes long) by clicking the “play” button below.

Books from the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

Books from the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

The Collection

San Antonio physician and historian Dr. Pat Ireland Nixon lent his name to what is now a treasure-trove of antiquarian texts, dating from the 15th to the early 20th century. Ophthalmology, surgery, and anatomy are particular strengths of the Nixon Library. Originally donated to the Health Science Center in the early 1970s by the Bexar County Medical Society, the superb core collection has expanded to contain close to 5000 volumes of treasured medical texts. Over the years, the library has endeavored to identify and digitize works from this collection that are of particular historical value, to make them available to the public online.

Browse all digitized works from the P.I. Nixon Library

The Books

Bell, Charles (1774-1842). Essays on the anatomy of expression in painting. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, 1806.

Scottish anatomist Charles Bell’s Essays on the Anatomy of Expression in Painting was the first textbook of anatomy for painters and illustrators.  In it he analyzed the anatomical basis of facial expression and the errors artists typically make by neglecting to acquire a thorough knowledge of anatomy.  In a series of beautifully detailed drawings, Bell showed how facial muscles are utilized to express human passions.  The Nixon Library acquired this great book through generous donations.

Brunschwig, Hieronymus (ca. 1450-ca. 1512). Dis ist das buch der Cirurgia Hantwirkckung der wundartzny von Hyeronimo brunschwig. Strassburg: [J. Grueninger], 1497.

Brunschwig’s compilation of ancient and medieval medical knowledge is the first printed surgical treatise in the German language as well as the earliest detailed description of gunshot wounds. In picturesque scenes of the doctor at his patient’s bedside, the apothecary in his pharmacy, and villagers undergoing various medical remedies, we are given glimpses not only into medical conditions of the 15th century, but also into the fashions and interior décor of the period. Strasbourg was famous as a center for scientific studies and printing, and the outstanding woodcuts produced for this book – among the earliest medical illustrations – are a testimony of its standards. This copy is number 519 printed at the presses of the Druckerei Holzer, Weiber im Allgaeu, West Germany. The plates for this printing were made from the copy of the original 1497 Strasbourg edition.

Cupples, George (1815-1895). Case Book: Volume 1 and Volume 2. [San Antonio: George Cupples, 1867?]

Scottish-born surgeon George Cupples moved to Texas in 1844, and subsequently served as surgeon for the Texas Rangers in the Mexican War and then for the Confederate Army. Afterwards, Cupples served as county commissioner and alderman, and as president of the Bexar County Medical Society, San Antonio Board of Health, Texas Medical Association, and the West Texas Medical Association.  In this handwritten case book, Cupples captured patient notes and reports on both medical and surgical cases he treated between about 1853 and 1867.

Genga, Bernardino (1620-1690). Anatomy improv’d and illustrated with regard to the uses thereof in designing London: J. Senex [1723]

English translation of Genga’s Anatomia per Uso et Intelligenza del Disegno, one of the finest examples of anatomy and artistry in balance, a masterwork from the age of copperplate engraving.  The drawings of the human body by Charles Errard, court painter to Louis XIV, were based on Genga’s dissections, inspired by antique Roman statuary, and originally intended for painting and sculpture classes at the French Royal Academy.  The Anatomia has since become one of the most famous books on anatomy for artists.

Herff, Adolph (1858-1952). Chemistry note-book. [Lexington, Virginia: Adolph Herff, 1876?]

Chemistry student notebook of Adolph Herff, noted San Antonio surgeon. Dr. Herff received his M.D. from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia in 1878. He returned to San Antonio in 1880 and began practice in association with his father, Dr. Ferdinand Ludwig von Herff. Dr. Adolph Herff remained in practice for fifty-five years, performing his last operation in 1933.

Herff, Ferdinand Peter (1883-1965). The doctors Herff: a three-generation memoir.  San Antonio: Trinity Univ. Press, 1973.

 A memoir written by Ferdinand Peter Herff, San Antonio physician, about his two ancestors, Ferdinand Ludwig von Herff and Adolph Herff, both early Texas physicians.

Nixon, Pat Ireland (1883-1965). A century of medicine in San Antonio: the story of medicine in Bexar County, Texas. Lancaster, PA.: Lancaster Press, Inc., 1936.

A history of the development of medicine in the San Antonio area including early physicians, hospitals, and clinics, and the development of the West Texas Medical Association and the Bexar County Medical Society.  Nixon was a prominent physician in San Antonio who treated patients for over 50 years. He was a skillful writer and researcher and is recognized as the preeminent historian of Texas medicine.

Nixon, Pat Ireland (1883-1965). The medical story of early Texas.  Lancaster, Penn. published by the Mollie Bennett Lupe Memorial Fund 1946.

Highlights the story of medicine in Texas between 1528 and 1853, from the beginnings with Indian medicine to the development of the Texas Medical Association.

Nixon, Pat Ireland (1883-1965). A history of the Texas Medical Association.  Austin Univ. of Texas Press 1953.

This book is a narrative description of the Texas Medical Association over a period of one hundred years. Readers will follow the history of the Texas Medical Association and the small band of medical pioneers who contributed to the beginnings of organized medicine in Texas.

Banner image: Charles Bell, from Essays on the anatomy of expression in painting.

Dr. Mario E. Ramirez – Biography of a Doctor

Black and white photograph of Dr. Ramirez and two other physicians in a hospital in 1950As a young physician who returned to his home community to practice medicine, Dr. Mario E. Ramirez played a pivotal role in bringing formal health care to Starr County. Located in the western edge of the Rio Grande Valley, Starr County is bordered by Hidalgo County (McAllen) Jim Hogg County (Hebbronville) to the north, and Zapata County (Zapata) to the west. The Rio Grande River serves as its boundary with Mexico to the south.

In 1950, following his residency, Dr. Ramirez established the first family practice clinic in Roma, Texas. Soon after in 1958, he established the first hospital in Roma to better serve the needs of the patients in his family practice clinic. Named after his grandfather, The Manuel Ramirez Memorial Clinic and Hospital operated until 1975. Physicians, surgeons and other specialists traveled to Roma on a regular basis to meet the needs of patients who could not travel to a larger city for health care. Previously, the only hospitals had been 55 miles to the east in McAllen or 90 miles to the west in Laredo. On February 15, 1975, the day the Ramirez Hospital closed its doors in Roma, the Starr County Memorial Hospital opened in Rio Grande City. As Starr County Judge, Dr. Ramirez was instrumental in managing the construction of a new, modern hospital, and helped to create a hospital taxation district to support its operation.

During his career, Dr. Ramirez made it his goal to bring the needs of medically underserved Texans to the attention of several United States presidents, and numerous state and federal medical organizations. To accomplish this, Dr. Ramirez held numerous key positions in his profession, and was honored for his work by Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush. In 1989, Governor Bill Clements appointed Dr. Ramirez to a term on the University of Texas System Board of Regents where he served until 1995.

Present day photograph of Dr. RamirezMotivated by the professional isolation he experienced as a country doctor and the severe shortage of health professionals in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Dr. Ramirez proposed the creation of the Med-Ed Program during his tenure as UT Health Science Center Vice President for South Texas Programs. In the latter part of his career, Dr. Ramirez established and nurtured the Med-Ed Program. This program has inspired more than 2,200 students in the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo with the message that college and health science careers are attainable. In 2007 Dr. Ramirez celebrated his retirement from the UT Health Science Center, where Dr. Francisco Cigarroa, former President of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, spoke of the significance of Dr. Ramirez’s contributions to the advancement of medical education in South Texas, calling him “one of the greatest heroes that Texas has produced.”

Electronic Theses and Dissertation Collection

Collection Overview

The Electronic Theses and Dissertation (ETD) Collection is a compilation of theses and dissertations produced in digital format. Historically the Library has been responsible for housing print copies of theses and dissertations produced by the Health Science Center’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Recent collaborative efforts with the Graduate Dean’s Office have transitioned this practice from print to electronic only. The Library is no longer accepting print copies; however electronic submissions are welcomed and will be made available through the Library’s Digital Archive/ETD Collection. All print copies prior to 2009 will still be housed in the Library’s print collection.

***Access to electronic theses and dissertations is generally unrestricted, but some titles may be limited to Health Science Center faculty, staff and students. As a general rule, the Library only collects dissertations published at UT Health Science Center San Antonio, but students, faculty and staff can access electronic theses and dissertations from other institutions in the Digital Dissertations and Theses online database.

 

Browse all Electronic Theses & Dissertations in the Digital Archive

 

Search the Electronic Theses and Dissertations

 

Browse all Theses & Dissertations in the Library Catalog

Founding Faculty Interviews

The Project

In 2010-2011, the University Development Office produced a series of video interviews with members of the Health Science Center’s Founding Faculty.

These important historical interviews have been deposited in the University Archives and are now available for download and online viewing through the Internet Archive at the pages linked below.

The Interviews

Dale Bennett, MD – A video history interview with Dr. Dale Bennett, MD, pathologist and founding faculty member of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

William S. Blumenthal, MD – A video history interview with Dr. William S. Blumenthal, professor of physiology and internal medicine, and founding faculty member of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Ivan L. Cameron, PhD – A video history interview with Dr. Ivan Cameron, researcher and founding faculty member of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Anatolio B. Cruz, MD – A video history interview with Dr. Anatolio B. Cruz Jr., surgeon and founding faculty member of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Marvin Forland, MD – A video history interview with Dr. Marvin Forland, a founding faculty member in at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Initially chief of the division of renal diseases in the department of medicine, Dr. Forland went on to serve as Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs for the School of Medicine until his retirement in 1999.

Samuel J. Friedberg, MD - A video history interview with Dr. Samuel J. Friedberg, surgeon and founding faculty member of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

David S. Fuller, MD – A video history interview with Dr. David S. Fuller, psychiatrist and founding faculty member of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Colette M. Kohler, MD – A video history interview with Dr. Colette M. Kohler, pediatric cardiologist and founding faculty member of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Robert L. Leon, MD – A video history interview with Dr. Robert L. Leon, psychiatrist and founding faculty member of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Arthur S. McFee, MD – A video history interview with Dr. Arthur McFee, professor of surgery and founding faculty member of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Mrs. Iris McFee – A video history interview with Mrs. Iris McFee, a founding administrator of the Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Henry C. McGill Jr., MD – A video history interview with Dr. Henry C. McGill Jr., pathologist and founding faculty member of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

F. Carter Pannill, MD – A video history interview with Dr. F. Carter Pannill, a founding faculty member of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and Dean of the Medical School from 1964-1972.

Mrs. Marie Pauerstein (wife of the late Dr. Carl J. Pauerstein) – A video history interview with Mrs. Marie Pauerstein about her late husband Dr. Carl J. Pauerstein, who was a founding faculty member of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Carlos Pestana, MD – A video history interview with Dr. Carlos Pestana, surgeon and founding faculty member of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

James E. Pridgen, MD – A video history interview with Dr. James E. Pridgen, a surgeon who made valuable contributions to the early development of the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Charles A. Rockwood Jr., MD – A video history interview with Dr. Charles Rockwood Jr., orthopaedic surgeon and founding faculty member of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Harlan Root, MD - A video history interview with Dr. Harlan Root, surgeon and founding faculty member of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Saul Rosenthal, MD – A video history interview with Dr. Saul Rosenthal, founding faculty member of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Albert E. Sanders, MD – A video history interview with Dr. Albert E. Sanders, orthopaedic surgeon and founding faculty member of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Elliot Weser, MD – A video history interview with Dr. Elliot Weser, gastroenterologist and founding faculty member of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Historical remembrances of Dr. Mario E. Ramirez, M.D.

Two interviews with Dr. Mario E. Ramirez, eminent South Texas physician. Dr. Ramirez established the first hospital in Starr County and later helped establish Starr County Memorial Hospital in 1975. Dr. Ramirez held many positions of leadership during his long and varied career, including Starr County Judge, U.T. System Board of Regents, and Vice President of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The Library at the Regional Academic Health Center at Harlingen has been named for Dr. Ramirez.

The following video interview (approximately 60 minutes) was recorded in 2011:

The following audio interview (approximately 95 minutes) was recorded in 2007:

History of Medicine

History of Medicine Banner featuring historical anatomical models

Collection Overview

The P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio houses approximately 5,000 rare and classic texts in the history of medicine, nursing, dentistry, and other health care disciplines, dating from the 15th to early 20th centuries.

The Health Science Center Libraries have begun to digitize selected works of unique historical importance from the Nixon Library. The Digital Archive’s History of Medicine Collection will host these works online for scholarly research, along with other historically relevant archive materials from the University and South Texas.

Projects

Books from the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

San Antonio physician and historian Dr. Pat Ireland Nixon lent his name to what is now a treasure-trove of antiquarian texts, dating from the 15th to the early 20th century. Ophthalmology, surgery, and anatomy are particular strengths of the Nixon Library. Originally donated to the Health Science Center in the early 1970s by the Bexar County Medical Society, the superb core collection has expanded to contain close to 5000 volumes of treasured medical texts. Over the years, the library has endeavored to identify and digitize works from this collection that are of particular historical value, to make them available to the public online.

Hurricane Beulah

A collection of photographs documenting the aftermath of Hurricane Beulah, which made landfall near the mouth of the Rio Grande River as a Category 3 hurricane on September 20, 1967. Hurricane Beulah caused extensive damage across South Texas, and left 10,000 refugees stranded for several weeks. Dr. Mario E. Ramirez was the only physician in the area, and was instrumental in the initial recovery process. The Hurricane Beulah project documents the people, and places that were damaged.

P. I. (Pat Ireland) Nixon

This collection features photographs, personal writings, and oral histories on the life of Dr. P. I. Nixon, a prominent San Antonio physician and historian of Texas medicine. Materials featured are available in the University Archives.

Talks on History and Health

This collection features a number of important audio and video interviews, lectures and presentations on the history of medicine and healthcare that have been collected in the University Archives of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. This project aims to digitize these talks and make them available for download and online viewing or listening.


Banner Image: “Anatomy Studies”Anatomia chirurgica, cile istoria anatomica dell’ossa, emuscoli del corpo umano, Bernardino Genga, 1687.

HOM Society Meeting on March 26

Utopia -HOMS Mar 26 2014 rev

 

Hurricane Beulah Collection

Photograph of a woman and a car on a flooded street during Hurricane Beulah

About the Hurricane Beulah Collection

A large portion of the Ramirez collection documents the aftermath of Hurricane Beulah which made landfall near the mouth of the Rio Grande River as a Category 3 hurricane on September 20, 1967. Beulah caused extensive damage across South Texas and neighboring communities across the U.S. — Mexico border. On the evening of September 21, approximately 14,000 refugees from Camargo, Tamaulipas crossed the border and entered Roma and Rio Grande City seeking food, shelter, and medical care. It is documented that in under nine hours, the population of these communities more than doubled.

For several weeks, Dr. Ramirez worked with volunteers from the local community, UT Medical Branch in Galveston, Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio and the U.S. Army in the medical response to this crisis. It was during this time that Dr. Ramirez had the opportunity to lead President Lyndon Baines Johnson, and Governor John Connally on a tour of the area striken by the hurricane, bringing national attention to this natural disaster. For his leadership and rise to action, Dr. Ramirez was cited by the Surgeon General William H. Stewart in 1967.

Dr. Ramirez kept an extensive journal of his experiences leading the health care response to Hurricane Beulah in Starr County. Over 135 photographs and 185 pages of letters, newspaper clippings, and journal entries document the efforts of the medical team, the state and federal response, and the overall aftermath of this natural disaster.

Photographs document how emergency clinics were organized and managed and portray the use of make-shift equipment in the absence of standard medical supplies. In addition, text-based portions of this collection document how disaster planning and recovery procedures in Texas changed after Hurricane Beulah due to information provided by Dr. Ramirez and the medical response team in Starr County to agencies such as the Texas State Department of Health and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Due to growing national attention toward emergency preparedness and disaster response, the portion of the collection devoted to the Hurricane Beulah disaster response is of significant historical and informational value.

Photograph of Dr Ramirez aith a nurse

Learn more about the life and work of Dr. Mario E. Ramirez

View the Beulah Photos