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The Clarence Dennis Papers

Letter from Clarence Dennis to Karl E. Karlson pdf (323,841 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Clarence Dennis to Karl E. Karlson
Number of Image Pages:
2 (323,841 Bytes)
1960-10-08 (October 8, 1960)
Dennis, Clarence
Karlson, Karl E.
[State University of New York. Downstate Medical Center]
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: 5
Folder Number: 3
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center, 1951-1977
SubSeries: Sabbatical, 1957-1964
Folder: Correspondence, 1957-1964
8 Oct., 1960
Dear Karl,
Many thanks for your recent communication, received Oct. 3. Am sorry our lines of communication crossed, as I had had a letter from Phil mailed after yours, but which came airmail, and had already answered it before your note arrived. He had sent an abstract which he and Wes proposed to send in for the American Surgical program. I made some suggestions intended to beef it up a little bit, and made some comments that my name should not appear on the paper except to indicate "introduced by" or some such thing. I did not know Shafton had had a hand in the work at all except that the patients in question happened to be on a service which he was covering at the time. I do not think this is adequate reason for inclusion of his name among the authors. If he really participated in the work, then of course he should be included. I shall not try to judge the situation from here, but can only suggest that inclusion of Shaftan's name will do a great deal for Shafton, while it will not hurt Wes and Phil at all. It would seem to me more appropriate that Shaftan's name be there than mine, except that the paper cannot go to Am. Surg. Without the name of a member listed among the authors.
Am much interested in the prospects for Jewish Hospital. I agree with Hellman that you should be very sure any candidate knows all the story before he bites. It is going to take a strong and a seasoned man to make it go. Would Adrian Kantrowitz be interested? In the list you sent I can offer the following comments, for what they are worth. Bakst is too ambitious in entirely the wrong sort of way. Isidore Cohn is highly regarded in his own bailiwick, and by some very fine people. I have always been greatly impressed with him as a researcher, but feel you would have to evaluate carefully his ability to buck the problems to be found there in Brooklyn. Harvey Mendelsohn I know nothing about one way or the other. Marvin Nachlas is a protegee of Arnold Seligman. Seligman is a brilliant research worker but apparently a clumsy and less than mediocre surgeon in the operating room. I think Helman is right that the man to take the position must be able to do some operation or operations better than most to gain the respect of such a staff as that. I do not know anything about George Nardi except that he has done some good research work and was well known and respected by Mel Newman. You might get some help from Mel on this one. Dennis Rosenberg if I remember right is a South African taken in hand by Ochsner years ago. Bill Ayers knows him rather well and might give some advice. I have met him and suspect he might have the toughness we need, but I do not know of his having done anything worth while research-wise. Bernard Seidenberg is unknown to me. Not having heard of any research from him, I suspect he might be just a successful local politician. Bob Watman is a man of integrity and quality. He has had good grounding both in research and in the handling of people and problems, and he has a good grounding too in basic ethics. He would be my own top choice so far, although there is much I do not know about each of these men. Wilder is a very quiet, courteous, and rather capable man. I think some of those in Brooklyn might destroy him without Wilder knowing what had happened. I would lean heavily on Lou Hellman.
I read over Crastnopol's paper and agree with you that it is not much of a contribution and that to publish it with the name of the medical school is to use the school, not to help it. I should agree that he should be discouraged from writing it at all, also. I wrote a long a careful letter once before to Phil about a paper he wanted to publish on his experience with open-heart surgery at Bkln J.H. It should still be in the files. Some such approach might be appropriate now.
Norlander got back three days ago with glowing accounts about how things are going there. He was immensely impressed with being included in the Dean's dinner at the Brooklyn Club. He has come back with all kinds of ideas about changing things here, and it seems refreshing.
I enclose a letter of recommendation for Wes for the University Surgeons and the application, which I have duly signed. I do not enclose copies for the files there, but suggest that you ask Miss Levine to photocopy my letter and the application for placement in Wes's file. I much appreciate your sending this along with your letter and signature also attached. I think this should break the log jam. Marvin will not be eligible next year, but he should be a top notch candidate the year after. It is possible we could be thinking of Phil for next year. He should have no trouble either, it seems to me.
Am all ears about changes at KCH. Are the emergency and admitting rooms really going to be straightened out somewhat? Have you been able to get a recovery room in the chest bldg? Are things going smoothly with Eddie Griffin? Is the new Chairman of Medicine on the job now, and how do things go with him? Ludwig Eichna was my first choice in the first place, and I am hopeful we can have a most cordial collaborative atmosphere between our departments. How are things going with the Special Cardiac Diagnostic Laboratory? Have things worked out so that the pediatrician is running it, or have politics and empire building clogged things up?
I suspect you and I should send bills to Mrs. Dollinger for services rendered. Would suggest perhaps one-fifty each. Probably they should be entirely separate statements. I shall write her on my own hook without mention of the bill. Miss Levine sent me the address, and I think I can find it still.
A few things more: The hospital here has door closers on the wards which are highly ingenious. They close doors positively and quietly, and I should like to have them in the Univ. Hosp. Norlander is getting specifications. Also please ask Mellins if he has requested either the Phillips or the Schonander film exhibitor for x-ray conferences; they use both here, and they immensely simplify the giving of conferences.
In the lab., they use cyclohexane regularly for attaching plastic tubing to other pieces of plastic tubing or to junctions. You just dip it, and it becomes soft and pliable, whether the tubing is polyvinyl or tygon. Pieces can be spliced tightly by dipping and slipping one inside the other too.
Senning has found that blood will not gain bubbles in cascading if it is not allowed to cascade as much as one cm. Our discs should be within one cm of the bottom of the tank, and all sloping surfaces channeling blood to the bottom should have corrugations over which the blood would have to run. Could you send me one KCH scrub suit as a pattern to use here, please? Did you find the Overholt lo-vol. oxygenator left bubbles in blood when it was demonstrated at St. Alban's?
My regards to everyone. Am putting everything possible on one sheet of paper.
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