Friday, January 04, 2008

Distance education history, in pictures

Editing the transcript from this summer's oral history interview with Mary McFarland, R.N., Ph.D., I came across a rare direct linkage between an oral history and the pictorial record maintained in the archives. Here, we reunite the spoken word with the image:

MCFARLAND: And again, around that time, I was always still, I was interested in technology, as I mentioned, well, with my doctorate and so forth. And at that time, the state of Oregon was beginning this two-way audio-video program. And so that meant that we were going to be able to deliver our program to places outside of Portland. And Carol [Lindeman] was always interested in doing this. So Carol and I went to Eugene and Corvallis and really down the valley. And I went on sabbatical ’91, ’92, I think. And when I went, the sidebar was, person that was going to be, people that were going to be doing my job, “And, by the way, we are working on this program for the valley.”

Well, a couple of things happened. The Oregon State Board of Higher Ed, Holly Zanville, who was the associate vice chancellor at that time, she had applied for a grant. And it was funded by Annenberg. And the grant had to do with delivering education via EdNet. And Wilma Peterson, actually, had introduced me. Because she was over in the provost’s office, acting provost, or whatever, and had mentioned to Holly that she thought I was a good person. And so Holly asked me if Nursing would be interested in doing this. And I said yes. And this was happening prior to and during my time on sabbatical. So our school of nursing did nursing. EOU had an agribusiness program. And they were doing the student affairs portion, because they want to do something to help students who were doing, who were doing distance learning.

And then Corvallis, OSU, there was a professor there who had actually been teaching not two-way, but one-way distance education. He was art history. And he had been teaching, delivering to Bend COCC. So we got the grant. I wrote part of the grant. And we got quite a bit of money. And it was to help faculty transpose their courses from teaching just on campus to distance ed, and developing syllabi that were interactive, and so forth. And so we got money, as you know, you were department chair at the time, and your department taught some of these classes. And so each department got money that taught the classes to give to faculty to develop. And so that was a big push for the RN/BS.

So what was interesting is, when I left on sabbatical, we were just getting the Annenberg grant. And I said, well, you know, we’ve got this distance education program. By the time I came back, we had ninety-eight students and counting. And I came back and I said, “No more. We cannot take anymore.” So then we developed the program and delivered it to the different sites. And that was part of my job. So just this little local RN/BS in Portland program for the folks here who were angry with us, became a huge program.

And so I administered that with the help of unbelievably capable people. Cretia Benolken, who was the student advisor and taught some classes, had been a director of nursing in Dallas, Oregon, and then, well, we had Donna Jensen working here. Not the professor Donna Jensen but our staff person.

GAINES: Donna Addison.

MCFARLAND: Yeah. And then Maryanne Talbot. And these people were wonderful. Because I could not have done it by myself. It was just Kim and I doing the undergraduate program.

GAINES: That would be Kim Derienzo.

MCFARLAND: Kim Derienzo, who was the program director. And she had started with me when I started, when she would type my letters from my handwriting, and that’s not easy. So we went from that to the point where computers really relieved her of all this, you know, busywork. And she was wonderful. So she helped me develop the program. So she worked with me and Maryanne, and then with the undergraduate program. I don’t know how we did all that work, but we did. And so that’s how the—and then the distance ed program, and then the Hatfield Center, they had a site. And so we delivered the program to the coast.

And it was kind of interesting, because I first saw an ability to do two-way audio-video when Jim– oh, he worked here, what’s his last name? Anyway, he said, “Mary, I want you to see something.” So we went over and they were transmitting an X-ray with audio-video kind of technology. And it was horrible. I mean, it was snowy and not really good. And then from there, we, I think I gave you a picture for the archives, of the first time we delivered something audio-video to La Grande, with Marcia Shoup over there and me here. And it was the first transmission. It was really kind of exciting to think that that was historical. And that wasn’t that long ago. I think that was in the late ‘80s. No, maybe the early ‘90s.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

In memoriam: Harry Irvine, Jr., M.D.

Today's Oregonian carries an obituary for Dr. Harry Simonson Irvine, Jr., graduate of the University of Oregon Medical School and one in a line of Irvine family physicians. Irvine died at home on New Year's Day of an apparent heart attack.

Like many other graduates of the Medical School here, Harry Irvine, Jr., was the son, brother, and father (and even great-uncle) of other alumni of the school. His father, who graduated from UOMS in 1919, died in 1964--also of a heart attack. After four years as the campus physician at Oregon State University, Harry Sr. opened a private practice in Portland in 1925. Harry Jr. joined him in practice in 1949, after both had returned from serving in the Second World War. Harry Sr.'s other son, Dr. Willis J. "Red" Irvine, graduated from UOMS in 1948; like his father, Willis served as president of the Medical School Alumni Association. Willis's granddaughter, Megan Wills, graduated from OHSU's School of Medicine in 2006; her dad, David Wills, is a 1977 alum. David J. Irvine, son of Harry Jr., is a 1982 grad who currently practices in Albany, OR.

What makes families of physicians? In an article published February 15, 2004, Oregonian reporter Patrick O'Neill talked with Wayne Sotile, a psychologist from North Carolina who specializes in "high-performance couples." Sotile noted that positive exposure to a parent's medical practice seems to direct children into medicine. In the past, physicians and other healthcare professionals often brought their children to their offices, or along on patient rounds, giving the kids a first-hand look at the world of medicine.

The medical world has changed--with new privacy rules and tighter schedules--and that kind of access is rarer now. It remains to be seen whether that will have an effect on future generations following their parents into medicine. Sotile was quoted as saying that the "isolationist effect of medicine, super-specialization and super-technology" has hampered the creation of more family dynasties of physicians. Here at OHSU, however, the tradition still seems to be alive and well.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy Birthday Vesalius!

While we were looking both ways on Monday, the birthday of Andreas Vesalius slipped right by us. Born on December 31st in 1514, I'm sure he wouldn't be too upset that we missed his 493rd birthday by a few days....

In fact, December being the last month of the U.S. tax year, Vesalius' birthday is the same day as that of OHSU's copy of Vesalius' 1555 Fabrica--if by "birthday" we take the day on which the book was donated to the then-University of Oregon Health Sciences Center in 1980. A letter from donor Norman Holter, D.Sc., dated 12/29/80, noted that the book "will be taken from a bank tomorrow morning and mailed by priority mail to arrive the morning of 12/31/80." Pretty cool coincidence, isn't it?

So what is this book anyway, and why all the fuss? There is certainly an enormous amount of information available online (from Northwestern's Vesalius site to the National Library of Medicine's Vesalius site and their Dream Anatomy site to Wikipedia's entry). In 2001, the OHSU copy of the Fabrica was placed on exhibit in the Main Library; images of the brochure are included below. Two years earlier, library cataloger Janet Crum (now Head of Collection Management and Systems at the OHSU Library) had compiled the following list of resources for a presentation on "Vesalius and His Work." These say more about Vesalius than I ever could. Check some of them out for more information.

Bendiner E.
Andreas Vesalius: man of mystery in life and death.
Hosp Pract (Off Ed). 1986 Feb 15;21(2):199, 202-4, 207 passim.

Benini A, Bonar SK.
Andreas Vesalius 1514-1564.
Spine. 1996 Jun 1;21(11):1388-93.

DeBroe ME, Sacré D, Snelders ED, De Weerdt DL.
The Flemish anatomist Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) and the kidney.
Am J Nephrol. 1997;17(3-4):252-60.

Faria MA Jr.
The death of Henry II of France.
J Neurosurg. 1992 Dec;77(6):964-9.

Lasky II.
The martyrdom of Doctor Andreas Vesalius.
Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1990 Oct;(259):304-11

Norwich I.
A consultation between Andreas Vesalius and Ambroise Paré at the deathbed of Henri II, King of France, 15 July 1559.
S Afr Med J. 1991 Sep 7;80(5):245-7.

O'Malley, Charles Donald.
Andreas Vesalius of Brussels, 1514-1564.
Berkeley, University of California Press, 1964.

Riall CT.
Surgical and medical devices and their origins. Chapter XIV. Beginnings of modern surgery (Andreas Vesalius).
J Oper Room Res Inst. 1982 Sep;2(9):30-3.

Slonecker CE.
On the Fabric of the Human Body: Book I: The bones and cartilages.
N Engl J Med 339:1720, December 3, 1998 Book Review

Tarshis, Jerome, 1936-
Andreas Vesalius : father of modern anatomy.
New York : Dial Press, 1969.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Janus on anniversaries

New Year's Eve: time to reflect back on the year just past and look forward to the year ahead. This eve finds us on the cusp of two anniversaries:

1887-2007: 120th anniversary of the OHSU School of Medicine
As we have noted a few times over the past twelve months, 2007 was the 120th anniversary of the School of Medicine. The first annual announcement and catalog advertised a medical school operating under the administrative aegis of the Oregon State University and physically located at Good Samaritan Hospital; it listed three "regular sessions" (of six months each) as requirement for graduation; and it noted that one ticket for a "full course of lectures" cost $120. Current information on admissions for the OHSU School of Medicine indicates that for over 4,000 applications received, only 120 students are admitted per year; those students can expect to pay between $8000-12,000 for a single term.

1898-2008: 110th anniversary of the OHSU School of Dentistry
In December of 1898, the Oregon College of Dentistry was incorporated as a "high grade dental school, in the metropolis of the North West," according to the first printed announcement from the 1899-1900 session. Like the medical school, the dental school required three sessions (of seven months each) to be completed. Tickets for dental lectures were only slightly less expensive (at $100 apiece). Even the staff would have seemed familiar: Holt C. Wilson, Ernest F. Tucker, Otto S. Binswanger, Robert C. Yenney, and Edward P. Geary, all held joint appointments at the OCD and UOMS during the 1899-1900 session. It would only take another 46 years before the two schools were administratively joined as equal schools within the University of Oregon, and 19 more years before the dental, medical, and nursing schools coalesced into the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center. Seems fast when you look at it that way, doesn't it?

Stay tuned for more history of the School of Dentistry as we tick off the days until 2009.

(We'll have to wait for 2010 for the 100th anniversary of the OHSU School of Nursing.)

Happy New Year!