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Unlike Today, Doctors' Posts At U Hospital Once Shunned

Unlike Today, Doctors' Posts At U Hospital Once Shunned image
Parent Issue
Day
8
Month
August
Year
1969
Copyright
Copyright Protected
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Donated by the Ann Arbor News. © The Ann Arbor News.
OCR Text

To pro vide 'medical attention for patients occupying their 1,000 - bed facility, administrators at University Hospital depend upon a cadre oí more than 850 interns, resident physicians and faculty physicians. A century ago the administrators of University Hospital worried about providing medical attention to patients in their newly-founded 20-bed medical center. The need for a resident medical staff was recognized, but they could not recruit a staff from the small number of doctors in private practice in the Ann Arbor area, nor from among busy professors at the U-M Medical School. So they turned to the new doctors graduating from the Medical School. Five years after its founding, University Hospital first appointed a "house physician," later called a "resident physician." During the next few years assistants, or apprentices, were added to the staff to make rounds and take responsibility for hospital care of patients, under the supervisión of the house physician or members of the medical faculty. House physicians u s u a 1 1 y lived at the hospital. The assistants lived "outside" and were often referred to as "walkers." Dr. Reuben Peterson, in his History of University Hospital, notes that for many years house physicians, although essential to the proper conduct of a hospital, occupied an inferior position and were looked down upon by hospital chiefs. By 1890 University Hospital listed both a "house physician" and a "house surgeon" on its staff. The first physicians officially designated "interns" appeared in 1899-1900. These four newdoctors earned $125 per year plus room and board, and all the e x p e r i e n c e they could absorb. The first years of the intern system were disorganized. Ambitious senior medical students would apply through different faculty sponsors to severaJ hospitals to secure the choicest internship. A faculty member might arrange an internship only to be faced with the embarrassment of explaining to the hospital that his student had accepted another position through another faculty member. In 1911, the medical faculty appointed a committee composed of Drs. Victor C. Vaughn, A. Walter Hewlett and Reuben Peterson to systematize the intern program at University Hospital and at the Medical College. The c o m m i 1 1 e e gathered information on the best hospitals in the country, supervised appointments and certified students' fitness. Mutual obligations of students and hospitals during internship were spelled out so each might benefit by cooperation. In the early 1900s University Hospital suffered the humiliation of losing the best senior students from the Medical School to other hospitals because of the interns' living conditions. This was remedied by the remodeling of an old house into an interns' home in 1914. The building was enlarged three years later to accommodate 14 men. In 1922, a law was passed requiring all medical school graduates to serve a year's internship in an accredited hospital bef ore beginning their medical practices. As the intern program grew, the men took over the third floor of the Hospital Administration Building. Af ter the new hospital opened in 1925, a building was added on the north side exclusively for interns. . University Hospital today has a reputation as one of the 10 leading hospitals in the United States. Appointments as its interns are sought by top medical students from all over the nation.

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Ann Arbor News
Old News