Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Bit on Medical Education in Oregon

I've been doing some research on Dr. E.G. Chuinard, a Portland area orthopedist well known for his service to the state as a former president to the Oregon State Medical Society and as Chief Surgeon at Shriner's Hospital for many years.

While combing through papers, articles, obituaries, and other historical materials, I found an interesting document: an issue of Northwest Medicine that details a controversy surrounding medical education in Oregon. This newsletter, dated June, 1956, contains a report from the Mid-Year Meeting House of Delegates; an Abstract of the Committee Report from the Committee on the Study of the University of Oregon Medical School and Affiliated Institutions; Policies and Procedures for Operation of the University of Oregon Medical School Teaching Hospital; and Conclusions and Recommendations Presented by E.G. Chuinard. The entire issue seems dedicated to the controversy between the Oregon State Medical Society and the creation of the University of Oregon Medical School Teaching Hospital.

This is something that Karen wrote about extensively this summer. There was even a fist fight on campus between two doctors!

I wanted to share some of the writings on this issue. The Study of the University of Oregon Medical School and Affiliated Institutions issued 8 recommendations. Number 4 is as follows:
That the admission policies for the Medical School Outpatient Clinic and the Teaching Hospital be identical and that admission be limited to public assistance recipients, patients whose assets and income are not sufficient to enable them to provide for necessary medical or surgical care, and patients admitted for research purposes only, except in the case of a patient whose care, in the judgment of a physician duly licensed to practice medicine and surgery by the State Board of Medical Examiners and the Medical Director of the Hospitals and Clinics, requires the use of some special facility at the Medical School which is not available elsewhere in the State.

And the concluding paragraph from Dr. Chuinard's statement made on May 5, 1956 to the medical education committee of the State Board of Higher Education:
The interests of the medical school and the medical profession are so intertwined that it is axiomatic that what is not good for both of us is not good for either of us; and it follows that what is to be determined as good for one of us should be so determined in consultation with the other. Perhaps by earnest seeking we may refrain from following the path of discontent and turmoil that besets medical teaching throughout the United States, and be the pioneers of a new approach wherein all physicians will have the pleasure of working staunchly together. It is our sincere hope that a climate which permits cooperative effort toward a common goal may be restored to the medical profession in Oregon.

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