Wednesday, February 03, 2010

I'll think up more trouble for you!

Another year, another rabble-rouser.

In April 1933, University of Oregon Medical School Professor T. Homer Coffen, MD, was moved to write a formal letter of protest to Ralf Couch, Superintendent of the Outpatient Clinics, about a "very annoying situation." It seems that the class held immediately before Coffin's cardiology clinic was run by A.J. McLean, MD, neurosurgeon and iconoclast. McLean, Coffen charged, "does not dismiss his class at 10:50 as he should" and so students were tardy to cardiology clinic. "If this happens again, I think I shall dismiss those who happen to be present and walk out!"

As if this were not audacious enough, Coffen has added in manuscript beneath the typed message:
What about a nurse for our cardiac clinic Wec. 1-3 PM?
What about a technician for the electrocardiograph? THC
(I'll think up more trouble for you!)
One wonders how persuasive this approach was, in contrast to McLean's tendency to write scathing satires and publicly decry what he deemed inadequate care. We can only imagine that Mr. Couch earned every penny he made.

[From University Relations and Public Affairs Records, 2004-008, currently undergoing processing]

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