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The Clarence Dennis Papers

Letter from Clarence Dennis to Owen H. Wangensteen pdf (4,470,722 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Clarence Dennis to Owen H. Wangensteen
Number of Image Pages:
3 (4,470,722 Bytes)
1956-08-02 (August 2, 1956)
Dennis, Clarence
Wangensteen, Owen H.
University of Minnesota Medical School
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Exhibit Category:
Building a Department of Surgery at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 1951-1972
Box Number: 2
Folder Number: 14
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Correspondence, 1934-2000
SubSeries: Individuals, 1956-1998
Folder: Wangensteen, Owen H., 1956-1968
August 2, 1956
Dear Dr. Wangensteen:
This is to bring you up-to-date with regard to several things. Item No. 1: The Reappraisal Section has been reappraised by Hurwitz and me and we have gone over it in detail. It is proposed that the initial appearance should contain probably either three or four reviews. We have one in hand from Arthur Blakemore which I believe will be excellent for this purpose. I propose to have one from Bill Longmire concerning intrahepatic cholangiojejunostomy, and I propose to have one from John Lewis about refrigeration anesthesia for cardiac procedures, and one from Dick Varco with regard to the use of extracorporeal circulation for open cardiac surgery.
It seems to me that I have followed your own work with regard to the therapy of megaesophagus with extreme interest and some confusion, and I know that many surgeons with whom I have discussed this problem not infrequently quote you as recommending procedures which I well know you have found not to be satisfactory and have long since dropped. If you could yourself contribute a reappraisal report with regard to the management of megaesophagus, I feel it would give the Reappraisal Section an immense impetus.
I enclose the report which was sent to me by Henry Doubilet and a report which was sent to me by Stan Wallensten. You had indicated in the case of Doubilet, at least, that you would rather like to see the report to find out what your reaction would be to asking that it be re-done.
My next item has to do with the proposed visit to the Department of Surgery here, which I hope it will be possible for you to make this coming winter. In the same mail at which I invited you to serve as a visiting professor in the Department of Surgery here, I sent a letter to Philip Price asking him also to do the same. If I remember correctly, I indicated to you that some time during the fall would be most appropriate here and to him that some time in the spring would be most appropriate. Dr. Price indicated that he would like to be here the week beginning February 18, 1957, and I look forward with great pleasure to having him with the group here. Under the circumstances, I feel that it would put the two of you too close together to have you also a visitor during the month of February. I wonder, on the other hand, if it would not be extremely valuable to the Department if you could visit in January. I talked to Dr. Seymour Clark, who is President of the Brooklyn Surgical, about an appointment for you to speak to the Brooklyn Surgical on the 3rd of January, 1957 and had a rather perplexing answer from him indicating that his office had placed a long distance phone call to yours because of some anxiety to find out what your decision might have been in response to a letter that had been sent earlier. You were apparently out of town at the time of the call, and your secretary indicated that if there was no honorarium in addition to expenses associated with the presentation, that it would not be possible for you to accept. This rather perplexed me and Dr. Clark feels that he would also like to have some clarification so as to know what to do about the January 3rd date.
If it were to be possible for you to visit early in January, we could arrange still at the present time, without difficulty, the Brooklyn Surgical appearance on January 3rd and various other activities in the course of the visit here. If I may suggest such a prolonged visit, what would appeal to my associates and me most would be to have you arrive Tuesday, January 1 or in the morning of Wednesday, January 2 to stay through noontime on Saturday, January 5.
The Medical School has certain requirements with regard to visiting professors, one being that they should be with us a minimum of three days. Another is that in the proper acknowledgment of such visits the Medical School is very desirous of appointing such visitors as visiting professors, and toward that end would immensely appreciate it if you could spare a curriculum vitae so that this could be presented at a Faculty Council meeting some time in the immediate future.
You suggested that I consider alternate dates. The best alternate date would be in association with the alumni day activities. Alumni day is Saturday, May 18, 1957, and it would be my hope that you might spend Wednesday through Saturday with us on that occasion. We have our weekly major conference on Saturday morning patterned after that at Minneapolis, and with the arrival of Harry Mellins it has picked up immensely. The alumni day activities include a panel discussion which will be held from 11:00 until 12:30 on Saturday, May 18, and I have been asked to serve as moderator for that panel, and the subject of discussion is the management of peptic ulceration. It seemed appropriate to me to make up the panel out of people of excellent reputation, some like yourself known across the country and some from the Medical School here, also known across the country. I thought that it would make a very sparkling panel to have Dr. A. F. R. Andresen be the internist in question, you the surgeon in question, and one of our most enlightened psychiatrists here the psychiatrist in question for the purposes of the panel discussion. I am sure that this would give a tremendous lift to the already high enthusiasm of the alumni group.
I appreciated your comments with regard to Irv Enquist. He has made himself immensely valuable to the organization here, and is a real pleasure to have in the group.
I trust that when you join the group here for a period as visiting professor that you will bring Sally along with you, and that we may have you at the house for at least one evening in the course of the visit when I can hold open house so that you can meet the members of the Department. If neither of the dates suggested above is appropriate, please indicate so at once and I will investigate other times which might be satisfactory. As far as I can see at the moment almost any week in the spring that does not conflict with the National meetings already known to you would be satisfactory to me. With best regards both to you and Sally, I remain,
Very sincerely yours,
Clarence Dennis, M.D.
Professor and Chairman
Department of Surgery
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