Wednesday, November 11, 2009

History of pediatric surgery at OHSU

Today's mail brought us a donation of a "History of pediatric surgery at Oregon Health & Sciences University and Doernbecher Children's Hospital, 1894-1998", written by then Chief of Pediatric Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief of Doernbecher, John R. Campbell, M.D. The piece was developed in celebration of the opening of the new DCH building in 1998.

That date range isn't a typo: in 1894, UOMS faculty member George M. Wells, M.D., taught a course on "diseases of children" which included (among other things) "surgery of infancy and childhood." But while training in the special surgical needs of children was developed early on, true specialization was longer in coming. Some of the early generalists who worked to make the university a center of pediatric surgery were C.W. Brunkow (especially for cleft lip and palate), Millard Rosenblatt (who developed the multi-disciplinary team approach to pediatric surgery), and Clare Peterson (who separated the Stubblefield twins in the world's first successful surgery on thoracopagus joined twins).

The Division of Pediatric Surgery was finally established in 1967, and Campbell was recruited from the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia as chief. The history includes many more names--and photographs--of individuals responsible for advances in pediatric surgery at OHSU, as well as a timeline of important events.

More anecdotal information about pediatric surgery at OHSU is also available in the oral history interview with Dr. Campbell, conducted in 2005.

1 comment:

Janet said...

Just after Doernbecher opened in 1998, my son was admitted for surgery under John Campbell's name. Our pediatrician had trained under him during her residency, and when another hospital misdiagnosed my son's emergency, life-threatening condition, she called him. As far as I know, he never saw my son (his surgery was performed by a resident), but by admitting him sight unseen on the word of a former resident, Dr. Campbell very likely saved my son's life.