When I joined the College of Medicine faculty, I became interested in the photographs of previous deans of the college displayed on a conference room wall. There was no information, however, about any of the deans and I was curious about their careers and accomplishments. Much later I began this project to research each of them, find a photo from the time they were dean, write a concise biography, and add a photo representative of the college during that era. What I found was a distinguished group of scholars, many of whom, even in the early years, were highly regarded nationally and internationally for research and leadership.
Throughout the history of the College of Medicine, the deans presided over a rapidly changing institution. At the beginning (1881) deans of the Omaha Medical College (then called president of the faculty) presided over a proprietary college with 35 medical students and 15 faculty members. By 1902, when the college affiliated with the University of Nebraska, there were 152 medical students and 52 faculty. When the college moved to its current location on 42nd Street and the University of Nebraska Hospital was built, the deans’ responsibilities expanded to include running the hospital and, soon thereafter, a nursing school. The college continued to grow so that by 1950 there were 315 medical students, 165 faculty, 65 residents and interns and a college of allied health. In 1968, the University of Nebraska Medical Center was created and the dean answered to the chancellor of the medical center. Research, education, and clinical activities increased and by today (2015) the College of Medicine has 502 medical students, 794 faculty and over 500 residents. The dean’s job has changed but the college continues to find highly talented, visionary, and accomplished leaders to fill the role.
Robert Wigton M.D., M.S.
Professor of Internal Medicine
Assistant Dean for Special Projects
The University of Nebraska College of Medicine, The Second Century: The First Twenty Years, 1980-2000
F Miles Skultety
In May 2000, Dean Armitage and Associate Dean Klintberg took me to lunch. Recognizing that there is no such thing as a free lunch, my defenses were up. When the shoe dropped, I was asked to bring the history of the College of Medicine up-to-date. The Dean was of the opinion that four significant events had occurred which warranted extending the written history after only twenty years. I was quite reluctant and lunch ended with my agreeing to "think about it". Finally in August I agreed, albeit still reluctantly.
As I pointed out to the Dean, because of my commitment to flower gardening I have devoted only part of the three winter months to the project each year. I have interviewed appropriate individuals who had the information I needed and/ or were involved in both sides of controversial issues. In addition, I reviewed the Medical Center's internal publications, news media, "The First Hundred Years of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine", "The University of Nebraska Hospital The First Seventy-Five Years 1917-1992", and any other historical sources I could find. The four significant events which prompted this update were: changes in the curriculum in the College of Medicine, the merger of the University and Clarkson Hospitals, the controversy regarding fetal cell research, and the controversy which resulted in the resignation of Chancellor Aschenbrener.
It will become obvious to the reader that this not a narrative history of the twenty years. I have covered the four" issues" and filled in necessary and appropriate details about the continuing development of the College of Medicine and the Medical Center. There is a fairly extensive reference list documenting my sources of written material. The specific content of significant interviews obviously cannot be documented. I have tried to provide details about departments, administration and physical changes which may be useful for future reference.
I hope that the reader will get some appreciation of the fairly significant changes that have occurred in the past twenty years and have added to the continuing growth of the College of Medicine over 120 years.
F. Miles Skultety, M.D.
F Miles Skultety
This all began in the summer of 1991. I had been retired from the College of Medicine for four years when I received a copy of a memo to a fairly large group asking us to serve on a committee for the 75th Anniversary of the University of Nebraska Hospital and the University of Nebraska College of Nursing. Having elected to do so, I eventually ended up as chairman of the subcommittee on history. The other members of that committee were Alice Friedlander, retired Director of Volunteer Services; Kathy McConnell, President of the Hospital Auxiliary; Sharon Redding from the College of Nursing Alumni Association; Nancy Schneckloth, Assistant Professor College of Nursing and editor of the 70-year history of the College of Nursing; and Carol Wilson, retired Director of the Nursing Service. Among a number of other things, the committee's major contribution was a three-paneled display depicting the histories of the Hospital and the College of Nursing.
Early on, it became apparent that there was very little documentation of the hospital's history. Nancy Schneckloth had done the necessary research for the 70-year history of the College of Nursing and this only needed to be updated. My personal frustration which arose from attempts to provide a history of the hospital in the absence of adequate records or documentation led me to offer to research the necessary information and write a 75-year history.
I reviewed 'The First Hundred Years", the history of the College of Medicine, for information on the University Hospital and its reference list noted a number of pot entail documents which could be used. I reviewed every copy of the Medical Center's internal publication, 'The Pulse" later the "University of Nebraska Medical Center News" from the first publication in December 1953 through 1992 and, subsequently, 1993. At the time of my initial review, I made notes of what appeared to be potentially useful information. As might be expected, I subsequently had to return many times as needs arose which I had not initially anticipated.
Ms. Helen Yam, Archivist of the McGoogan Library, located a number of documents for me. I discovered the "Nurse Reporter" of the College of Nursing" and the "Communicator" of the hospital Nursing Service which provided information I had not found elsewhere. Ultimately, the recollection of individuals associated with the Medical Center now or in the past were a significant source of information.
This book is not meant to be a narrative history of the University Hospital, but it is a compilation of as much information as I could find in the three years I worked on it. I must point out that I have not labored diligently for 36 months but only for the four months of "winter" in each of the years 1991-92 through 1993-94 when I could not pursue my avocation of horticulture. A few areas are dealt with in great detail because of personal knowledge and interest. I hope I have provided two things, a brief historical record of the University of Nebraska Hospital from 1917-1992 and a reference source for those who wish to pursue any particular area in greater detail. Any documents which I have been able to collect are now located in the archives of the McGoogan Library at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska. I feel this may be my most significant accomplishment since they were dispersed throughout the Medical Center and ultimately would have been lost as many documents already have been. I hope the reader will find this book informative even if not absorbing.
Henry J. Lehnhoff Jr., M.D.
The evolution of Bishop Clarkson memorial Hospital from a fragile, limited undertaking in 1869 to its present substantial status occurred in the most productive and inventive era so far experienced in medical care. The hospital flourished, resulting in accomplishments worthy of recording, which is the purpose of this chronicle.
Nancy W. Schneckloth
The University of Nebraska College of Nursing celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding this year, 1987. The publication of this history is long overdue. No attempt has been made to record or interpret every event, or to include the names of all who have made contributions to the College. Some details of early events have been lost or have become indistinct with the passing of time. Few writers can hope to secure approval from all readers; I hope that the majority of those who read this history will appreciate the heritage of the College and its impact on nursing and nursing education. This history is dedicated to students, alumni, and faculty - past, present, and future.
This volume is the culmination of years of effort by many people with a deep interest in the College of Nursing. Special thanks are due to students, faculty, and alumni for their foresight in preserving the materials used to compile this history. My effort to write the history began in 1981 with the encouragement of the College of Nursing Alumni Association and donations of money and memorabilia from many individual alumni members. Rosalee Yeaworth, Dean of the College of Nursing, and the administration of the University lent their support by providing funds in 1982 and by approving a sabbatical leave in 1984. Dean Yeaworth has been a source of encouragement throughout the project and wrote the original draft of the chapter related to her years as Dean. Regina Tangney Barentson made major contributions by locating and compiling materials and writing the original drafts of the Burgess and Kyle chapters. Her knowledge of nursing and nursing education was invaluable in placing events in a broad historical perspective, and I am indebted to her for her assistance. Thank you to Ann Gray for typing and retyping the manuscript; to Pete Boughn for editorial assistance; to Reba Benschoter and the staff of the Biomedical Communications Department for editorial and production assistance; to Walt Allen and the staff of the Print Shop for expert advice and a finished product. Finally, a sincere thank you to those who have nourished my love for nursing and dedication to the College of Nursing and the University of Nebraska Medical Center for the past 31 years - my classmates and instructors, my students, my faculty peers, and my nurse and physician colleagues.
Nancy Warren Schneckloth
Centennial History Committee of the College of Medicine
The history of an institution like the University of Nebraska College of Medicine can be viewed from a number of perspectives. In the history of medicine, the University of Nebraska College of Medicine mirrors, with its own singular shape, the growth of medical science and the medical profession during a century of great change and discovery. In the perspective of the history of education in Nebraska, the college stands as one more expression of society's efforts to train individuals for one of its most vital and necessary professions, and to offer opportunities for education and training to its citizens. In the development of Omaha, of Douglas County, and of Nebraska, the college has evolved as an institution fostered by the society growing up on the American frontier, to meet increasing demands for medical expertise and training. What the University of Nebraska College of Medicine has become is the result of these and other powerful forces creating, by interaction and synthesis, a modern institution capable of meeting today's need for quality medical care.
Our purpose here is to trace the College of Medicine's first century of growth and change, to describe the alchemy that has transformed the original Omaha Medical College, a two-story building at 11th and Mason Streets, into the College of Medicine of today, an integral part of the multi-disciplinary University of Nebraska Medical Center in mid-town Omaha. We wish to celebrate those one hundred years of achievement and credit some of the many individuals who have contributed. Beyond these intentions, we have one more. By examining the last hundred years of the medical college, we may learn better how to guide its next hundred years of progress.
Frank J. Menolascino, M.D.
Chairman, Centennial History Committee
Edward A. Holyoke
Medical schools, perhaps more than other institutions, seem to attract a succession of individuals of strong personality to their faculties. Some of these "characters" are remembered because of their warmth, generosity, and wisdom. Others are remembered for less endearing traits. Both types are commemorated in this book of the memoirs of Dr. Ed Holyoke. The author faithfully and very effectively served the Anatomy Department and the College through 50 years of dramatic changes and draws mainly from his own rich store of personal reminiscences to fashion this delightful book. At times only a thin disguise protects him from identification as the perpetrator of some of the more mischievous pranks.
Here is an account of student high spirits, practical jokes, and the antics of members of faculty, sometimes quaint, often amusing, occasionally outrageous. These memoirs paint vivid pictures of colorful individuals who walked the halls of a College of Medicine and University Hospital in days gone by, and whose ghosts, so it is reported, still haunt these same corridors.
The non-medical reader may ask, "Was medical school really like this?", or perhaps somewhat more ruefully, "Was the distinguished gentleman, who is now my trusted physician, once a student like those spotlighted in this text?" Alas, it may be so. However, in spite of the high spirits of student days, it remains true that the College of Medicine at the University of Nebraska has over the years more than adequately fulfilled its responsibility to train high-quality physicians for service to the community. Indeed, the boisterous good humor of college days almost certainly contributed to those qualities of character required in the physician. A physician's robust common sense, his sense of humor, his equanimity in facing stress, are amongst the ingredients necessary for his role as a comfortor of the sick and distressed, and as an adviser and supporter of those who face fear, loss or tragedy.
Books describing medical faculty and student life have always held a fascination, but to none more than the individuals who lived these times and experiences themselves. Undoubtedly, therefore, this book will create special interest and nostalgia in alumni of the College.
Richard Gordon pulled back the curtain on medical student education elsewhere, some years ago, with his "Doctor in the House" series of publications. Dr. Ed Holyoke has done a similar superb job in drawing back the curtain in Nebraska to reveal the effervescent sub-culture which makes up the life of medical students and faculty.
Alastair M. Connell, M.D.
University of Nebraska College of Medicine
A Prairie Doctor of the Eighties: Some Personal Recollections and Some Early Medical and Social History of a Prairie State
Francis A. Long and Maggie E. Long
On the occasion of the Centennial of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, it is most fitting that the Centennial Committee of the Medical Center reissue this quite marvelous autobiography by Dr. Francis A. Long. A Prairie Doctor of the Eighties is a valuable book, both in the literary and the historical sense. It is thus my pleasure to provide a Preface to a book about a man I knew and admired.
Francis Long was born on February 16, 1859 and grew up near Kreidersville, Pennsylvania. He worked as a common laborer about the coal mines, in car shops and as an accountant in a lumber yard in Carbon County, Pennsylvania. He came west with his family in December 1976 to Moulton, lowa. Following graduation from Normal School, he taught school for two years near Moulton. He studied medicine in an apprenticeship under a physician with whom he boarded while teaching school. ln 1880 he entered the Medical School of the University of Iowa. Following graduation in 1882 he located in Madison, Nebraska, where he began the medical practice he describes so vividly in this book.
A pioneer in early medicine in Nebraska, he was active in local, district, and state medical organizations such as the Madison-Five Counties, the Elkhorn Valley, and the Missouri Valley. In fact, every association with medicine as its dominating interest received his cooperation and active support. He was president of the Nebraska Medical Association in 1906-07. He was the Nebraska delegate to the American Medical Association in Atlantic City in 1907, in Chicago in 1908, and in Los Angeles in 1911. He was the Nebraska delegate to the A. M.A. Council on Medical Education in 1909-10. He became a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons in 1915.
His great role, in his latter professional years, was that of medical editor and publisher. A state medical association publication was first proposed by Francis A. Long in his presidential address before the State Association in 1907. He made a study of sixteen medical publications then in circulation. Nothing further was done until 1913 when Dr. Long was made chairman of a committee to investigate the contract with the then-existing journal. He was empowered to establish a state medical association journal in 1916.
Under Dr. Long's editorial direction, from 1920 to his death in 1937, the Nebraska State Medical Journal flourished both as a medium for excellent scientific papers and as a common visible bond that united the urban physician of Nebraska with his counterpart practicing in the far-flung towns of western Nebraska. For those of us who knew Dr. Long personally, we found that he was always fair and supportive in his editorial comments and judgments. He was soft spoken and a perfectionist in his craft.
Dr. Long carried on a large practice even while his editorial labors took a great deal of his time. Eventually, his health made it necessary for him to retire from medical practice to devote full-time to the editorship of the Journal and to the duties required for the supervision of organized medicine on both state and national fronts. He felt that the Nebraska State Medical Journal was perhaps the most cohesive thing in the state's medical organization, and its influence should be widened by catering to the human side of all physicians of the state. He felt that the physician is, first of all, a scientific personage; but he is also a human being with tastes for the lighter things pertaining to his professional life. He felt the esprit de corps of the profession must be nurtured. To him this implied that sympathy, devotion, enthusiasm and a zealous honor of the body as a whole should be preserved at all times. He also believed that frank discussion in open forum of the problems of the profession was vital to its progress.
For those of us that were privileged to know this unusual man during our formative years, he was a figure of great stature. He was indeed a physician of multifaceted disciplines. First and foremost, he was industrious, imaginative, honest, and forthright in his thinking and the execution of his many offices. As physicians or as citizens, we should be proud of this pioneer of the medical profession in Nebraska, and pleased that this excellent book is here available to us again.
Harley Anderson, M.D.
University of Nebraska
College of Medicine, Class of 1925
Omaha, Nebraska, June, 1980
Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital
History of Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital, 1869-1935
University of Nebraska Medical Center
History of Medicine in Nebraska, edited by Albert F. Tyler, M.D., and compiled by Ella F. Auerbach was, as stated in the Foreword, an effort to put on record the story of the development of medical practice in Nebraska from saddle-bag days to the aeroplane. Accordingly, all available sources were searched, and many individuals provided first-hand knowledge to the project.
The title page shows the imprint: "Omaha, Nebraska, Magic City Printing Company, 1928." However, the book did not appear until 1930. The spine on some copies carries the later date, and some subject areas include events transpiring in late 1928 and in 1929. When the book appeared, Francis A. Long, M.D., editor of the official journal of the Nebraska State Medical Association, published (Nebraska State Medical Journal 15: 167, Apr. 1930) a review of the long-awaited volume, praising the accomplishment, but regretting the lack of an index. Dr. Long also noted that the volume contained typographical errors, some errors of dates and several transposed sentences.
The absence of an index required that the user resort to a random search based on chapter headings for information on people, places and events. Particularly frustrating to the scholar who desired to pursue a subject of interest was the omission of documentation, which might lead to more in-depth study.
This publication is an attempt to correct some of the deficiencies in the original volume, and has been issued in an attempt to provide for more efficient use of the volume by supplying an index, by correcting errors, both typographical and of fact, and by supplying documentation for further investigation wherever possible
Subsequent to the distribution of the Tyler volume, many readers having personal knowledge of individuals and events covered by the book made notes and annotated their personal copies to provide additional pertinent information.
Fortunately for the record, some of these marked copies as well as personal communications found their way into the Library of the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Current access to sources provided through modem methods of information retrieval has made it possible to shed new light on the events of the past. The present work is the outgrowth of information collected over a number of years by Librarians who felt a desperate need for an index to a reference volume, and one librarian in particular who has a passion for accuracy and a desire to set the record straight for future students of Nebraska medical history.
No attempt has been made to update the information in the belief that that should be the content of another volume, which will carry the record from the late 1920's to some more recent date.
The corrigendum and notes which follow each chapter should be used as a page-by-page addendum to the text in order to revise the content where necessary. A source publication or manuscript is cited to verify facts as far as possible. In the instances where conflicting information has been located, the corrigendum and documentation includes the note "For other accounts, see ... " Tyler's dedication reads: "To the members of the medical professions of Nebraska, whose heroic achievements have inspired this volume, and whose cooperation has made it possible, this book is officially dedicated." It seems therefore, entirely fitting that the current contribution should be undertaken with the support, in part, of the Elizabeth Abbott Pioneer Physicians of Nebraska Fund.
Raw data for the indexes were compiled by JenniferR. Harvey, with the generous support of her father, Donald A. Harvey, M. D., Nebraska '57. For the arduous task of searching for documentation and for the preparation of the manuscript, the assistance of Debra Schreiner Dimmick, Claire Gadzikowski, Cindy Home and Melanie Cimpl is hereby acknowledged.
The entire project was made possible by the support and encouragement of Robert D. Sparks, M.D., former Chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center; Perry Rigby, M.D., Dean; and Robert B. Kugel, former Dean, University of Nebraska College of Medicine.
Bernice M. Hetzner, A.B., M.A.
Librarian for Nebraska Medical History
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska
Memoriam of Bishop Robert H. Clarkson namesake of Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital 1884