Tag Archives: Cook County Hospital

Where the unusual was usual: the Cook County Hospital blood bank

Jayant Radhakrishnan Chicago, Illinois, United States   Surgical resident, Dr. Bohdan Iwanetz, trying to coax a recalitrant little girl to drink her bottle. May 1977 Pediatric Surgery Ward 46 in the Cook County Children’s Hospital There are those who claim that the first blood collection and transfusion services were started by Percy Oliver of the […]

Saul Bellow visits a dialysis unit

The Dean’s December, published in 1982, is a highly autobiographical book written by Nobel Prize winner Saul Bellow.1 It is about the experiences of a university Dean and is divided into two episodes.2 The first takes place in Bucharest, where the Dean visits his mother-in-law, once a prominent but now politically disgraced party member lying […]

The Fantus clinic and the blood bank of Chicago

There was an old four-story building on the campus of Cook County Hospital that had long served as its outpatient department. It had on each floor crowded clinics where patients waited long on hard benches to be seen. It had clinics for high blood pressure, where pills were prescribed, but not necessarily taken; clinics for […]

Burnout

Ronald Rembert Chicago, Illinois, United States   Sarasota Sunset, courtesy of author. 2005. I was assigned to work at Cook County Hospital for my emergency room (ER) clerkship in my third year of medical school. “Whoa, that place is crazy . . . you will see a lot a people there,” I was told by […]

Alice Hamilton: physician and scientist of the dangerous trades

Anne Jacobson Oak Park, Illinois, United States   Alice Hamilton in 1919 It is a gritty, frozen day in winter-weary Chicago, one that does little to inspire action; perhaps least of all a frigid walk around the salty, potholed neighborhood. In a month or two a lunchtime walk would be a welcome idea; university students […]

Karl A. Meyer (1888-1972)

For over half a century, Dr. Karl Meyer was the absolute ruler of what under his command became the largest public hospital in the United States, the Cook County Hospital in Chicago. He interned there in 1908, joined its staff as attending surgeon in 1918, and at the age of 28 was appointed hospital superintendent. […]

Christian Fenger (1840-1902)

Danish born Christian Fenger practiced pathology and surgery in Chicago over a century ago and made such an impact on education that a public school in his adopted city is still named after him. As a young man he studied medicine in Copenhagen, completed his internship there, served in the 1865 war against Germany, and […]

Isidor Snapper: a colorful but tyrannical chief

Old building of the Peking Union Medical College in Beijing   The great professor of medicine with the Charles Boyer accent would make ward rounds followed by some thirty students living in constant fear of being publicly humiliated. “You,” he would say, “where do you come from?”—and wherever it was he would then pronounce that […]

Fifty years on an Englishman recalls Cook County Hospital

Simon Cohen London   Cook County Hospital, Chicago, IL In 1968 I was a senior registrar at a London teaching hospital. My ambition was to become a staff member at a major London institution and at that time one of the requirements was a qualification known as the BTA (Been to America).  My chief, probably […]

Provident Hospital – the first Black owned and operated medical institution in the United States

Raymond H. Curry VeeLa Sengstacke Gonzales Chicago, Illinois, United States    Nurses tending to a patient at Provident Hospital Prior to 1891 there was not in this country a single hospital or training school for nurses owned and managed by colored people . . . there are now twelve! . . . and not a […]