History of Medicine

Suffering and Progress: A History of the HIV Epidemic in the United States – December 3

Red Ribbon for AIDS AwarenessIn honor of AIDS Awareness Week, Gregory Anstead, M.D., Ph.D. will present Suffering and Progress: A History of the HIV Epidemic in the United States on December 3, 2015 at 12 Noon in the Howe Conference Room on the 5th floor of the Briscoe Library. This lecture is also being held in conjunction with the National Library of Medicine traveling exhibition, Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture, which will be on display on the 3rd floor of the Briscoe Library from October 26, 2015 – December 5, 2015.

Dr. Anstead is an Associate Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the School of Medicine and Director of the Immunosuppression and Infectious Diseases Clinics at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System. He has previously delivered noontime lectures on historical developments in Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and West Nile Virus Encephalitis.

The event is free and open to everyone. Please, bring your lunch and join us for dessert!

For more information, contact Lisa Matye Finnie, Special Collections Librarian, at finnie@uthscsa.edu or 210-567-2406.

The Father of Ophthalmology

George Bartisch, a German physician, was born in 1535 in Königsbrück, a village near Dresden, Germany. He could not afford medical school, so apprenticed at the age of 13 to a barber surgeon in Dresden. This was followed by two additional apprenticeships to an oculist and a lithotomist. He acquired medical experience and became a successful wound surgeon, lithotomist, oculist and teacher of surgical anatomy. Bartisch became well known and eventually was appointed court oculist for Duke Augustus I of Saxony, settling in Dresden.

Bartisch is called the Father of Ophthalmology because he was the earliest person to write an ophthalmologic text-book in the German language and the first in history to totally remove an eye from a living human subject. In 1583 he published Ophthalmodouleia, both the first systematic work on ocular disease and ophthalmic surgery as well as the first ophthalmic atlas with its 92 full page woodcuts, many of which Bartisch drew himself. Some of the illustrations had flaps that could be lifted to provide a dissection layer by layer. They illustrate ocular diseases, surgical methods, and instruments. The explanations of each disease in this work are followed by a discussion of herbal remedies and prescriptions and surgical options for treatment.

The P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, located on the 5th floor of the Briscoe Library owns the first edition of Ophthalmodouleia. More information on George Bartisch may be found in the Treasures of the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library blog.

To schedule a visit to the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, contact Lisa Matye Finnie, Special Collections Librarian, at finnie@uthscsa.edu or 210-567-2406.

Sources:

Book review by Mark J. Mannis of Ophthalmodouleia, That is the Service of the Eye, 1996 English translation by Donal Blanchard, MD. American Journal of Ophthalmology 1997, 123:146-147. http://www.history-ophthalmology.com/BartischREVIEW.html

“Georg Bartisch’s Ophthalmodouleia.” The College of Optometrist webpage at http://www.college-optometrists.org/en/college/museyeum/collections/rare_historical_books_collection/Bartisch.cfm

Shastid,, Thomas Hall. George Bartisch,” The American Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Ophthalmology, Volume 2, pp. 888-895. Chicago: Cleveland Press, 1913.

Images:

Images courtesy History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries.

The History of Breast Cancer and its Treatment – October 21

pink_ribbonIn honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Daniel Rosenthal, MD will present The History of Breast Cancer and Its Treatment at the October meeting of the History of Medicine Society, a student-led interest group of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.

When
October 21, 2015
6:00 PM

Where
Briscoe Library
Howe Conference Room (5th floor)

Membership in the History of Medicine Society is free, and meetings are open to the public.

For more information, contact Lisa Finnie, Special Collections Librarian, at finnie@uthscsa.edu or 567-2406.

Traveling Exhibit on George Washington Coming in May

Drawing showing two doctors examining George Washington as he lies ill in bed.

Washington in his last illness. Courtesy Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.

The Briscoe Library will host a traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine entitled Every Necessary Care and Attention:  George Washington and Medicine during May and June.  This exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health and George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens.

On display from May 11 – June 20, the exhibit explores the story of George Washington’s own health and examines the ways in which he sought to safeguard the health and wellness of those under his care. Washington’s story illuminates the broader context of the experience of illness and the practice of medicine, which during his time, was transitioning from a traditional healer craft to a profession.

A companion exhibit by Special Collections staff on Colonial Medicine will also examine the diseases and culture of medicine during the colonial period of American history.  It will be exhibited in the glass cases of the library foyer during the same period.

Walter Humann Wins Danny Jones Essay Contest

Second-year medical student Walter Humann is the winner of the 2015 Danny Jones History of the Health Sciences Student Essay Competition. A panel of three judges rated the six entries on the quality of writing, the comprehension of the issues, the clarity of discussion, and the applicability of the topic to the history of health care. His essay Medical Progress in the West: A Historical Perspective addresses the three eras of history in which medical developments struggled against societal norms.

 

Photograph of Walter Humann

Walter Humann is congratulated by Rajia Tobia, Executive Director of Libraries, and Dr. Irene Bober-Moken, Incoming Friends President

 

Walter received his $500 prize and certificate at the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library Annual Dinner on November 5. He will present his research at a History of Medicine Society meeting next fall.

For more information on the Danny Jones History of the Health Sciences Student Essay Contest or the History of Medicine Society, contact Lisa Matye Finnie, Special Collections Librarian, at finnie@uthscsa.edu or 210-567-2406.

Women’s History Month Exhibit

March is Women’s History Month. The staff of the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library have created an exhibit featuring four women who were instrumental in the development of the role of women in medicine and nursing.

Florence Nightingale, affectionately called “The Lady with the Lamp” by grateful soldiers, defined nursing practice with revolutionary theories she developed while caring for soldiers during the Crimean War of 1853. She successfully reduced the death rate in hospitalized soldiers by two thirds.

The "Angel of the Battlefield"

The “Angel of the Battlefield”

Clara Barton, the “Angel of the Battlefield,” served during the Civil War nursing injured soldiers on the battlefield and collecting supplies and distributing them to the Union Army. She went on after the war to found the American Red Cross, serving as its first president.

Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to receive an M.D. degree from an American medical school, graduating in 1849. She and her colleagues founded the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. She was also an avid writer on a number of subjects and helped establish a medical school for women in London in 1874-75, serving as a professor of gynecology there until 1907.

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was the first Englishwoman to qualify as a doctor. Inspired by Elizabeth Blackwell, she passed the Society of Apothecaries exam in 1865 and earned a certificate enabling her to become a doctor. She later earned her medical degree at the University of Paris. Anderson’s determination paved the way for other women, and in 1876 an act was passed permitting women to enter the medical professions. She was also the first female mayor in England.

Come read about the struggles these four women faced to pursue their interests in medicine. The exhibit is located on the 3rd floor of the Briscoe Library next to the elevator.

For more information, contact Mellisa DeThorne, phone 210-567-2470, email dethorne@uthscsa.edu .

Illustration:  From postcard published in 1995 by an unknown publisher.  Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine, Images from the History of Medicine.

X-rays & Radiation – History of Medicine Society Meeting August 20th

X-ray of human hand, created in 1895 by Wilhelm Röntgen

First medical X-ray by Wilhelm Röntgen of his wife Anna Bertha Ludwig’s hand – 1895

 The History of Medicine Society, sponsored by the Friends of the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, will have its initial meeting for the 2014-2015 academic year on August 20, 2014, in the Howe Conference Room located on the 5th floor of the Briscoe Library building. Eva Glvan, MS4, will present X-rays & Radiation: The Early Days. Everyone, including the general public, is welcome to attend. A companion exhibit entitled Discovery of X-Rays will be mounted in the 3rd floor glass exhibit cases from August 15 – September 14.

The HOM Society has scheduled many interesting activities for the 2014 – 2015 year as follows:

  • August 20 – Eva Galvan –Early Days of X-Rays and Radiation
  • September 8 – 10 – History of Medicine Scavenger Hunt with presentation by Charleen Moore on Sept. 10 on Treasures of the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library at 6:00 pm in the Howe Conference Room.   All entries must be turned in by 6:30.
  • October 1 – Ruth Stewart, RN, Ph.D – Nurses in War: a Florence Nightingale Heritage.  6:00 pm. Howe Conference Room. Followed by viewing NLM exhibit and a small reception.
  • November – no meeting. Friends of the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library Annual Dinner Meeting on Nov. 6
  • December – no meeting
  • January 14 – Second Annual Trivia Contest – Ally Hertz, Medical Student. 6:00 pm Howe Conference Room
  • February 11 – History of the Mental Health Prosumer Movement. 6:00 pm Howe Conference Room
  • March 25 – Presentation by Danny Jones HOM Essay winner. 6:00 pm Howe Conference Room
  • April 22 – History of Medicine in Poetry. 6:00 pm Howe Conference Room

So, save the dates and join us for an evening of interesting discussion and fun!

For more information on the History of Medicine Society meetings contact Lisa Matye Finnie, Special Collections Librarian, 210-567-2406 or finnie@uthscsa.edu.

Image by Wilhelm Röntgen. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons