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The Clarence Dennis Papers

Letter from Karl E. Karlson to Clarence Dennis pdf (311,597 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Karl E. Karlson to Clarence Dennis
Number of Image Pages:
3 (311,597 Bytes)
1960-12-05 (December 5, 1960)
[Karlson, Karl E.]
State University of New York. Downstate Medical Center
Dennis, Clarence
Reproduced with permission of Lafern M. Karlson.
Exhibit Category:
Building a Department of Surgery at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 1951-1972
Metadata Record Letter from Clarence Dennis to Karl E. Karlson (December 11, 1960) pdf (642,418 Bytes) transcript of pdf
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
Dec. 5, 1960
Dear Clarence:
Ordinarily I don't write until I've had an answer to my previous letter, but there are a couple of items that I think you would like to hear and comment on.
First I want to thank you for inviting me to join the Society of Clinical Surgery. I appreciate this honor. Gloria was not particularly impressed until she noticed that the next meeting would be in New Orleans. This is the part that convinced her this was a top-notch organization. I certainly appreciate your efforts in my behalf.
Gerald O'Brien died suddenly the other day. This raises acutely the question of a head for the Plastic Surgery Division. I don't know if there is any connection, but Bertram Bromberg called and asked to see me. I'll see him today. I will simply inquire what his intentions may be and await further word from you, since this decision is one we will have to live with for a good period of time. As I see it, Bromberg is not on our staff at all at the present time. Perhaps someone should be made acting head until a final arrangement could be made.
Wes said he was going to write to you and tell you that the Committee on Academic Qualifications here turned down his application for Markle Scholarship in favor of a man from the Physiology Department. This Wes considered to be a personal affront and evidence that the Medical School is not willing to support him. He therefore was talking about resigning, but the next day he made a trip down to DeBakey to get his book off to the publishers. When he came back with this task accomplished and with assurances from DeBakey that he(DeBakey) would push some research projects of Wes' in the Public Health Service and also be an enthusiastic advocate of the pig as a cardiovascular research animal, Wes was much happier and I haven't heard any more about it.
Irv and I have been talking about the bleeding ulcer grant because it expires next September. We feel that it would not be productive of any further information to continue our present protocol beyond that date. I think that we should rather set up what we consider to be the most desirable way of handling upper G.I. bleeding and treat all our patients the same way. My opinion is that a plan in which selected patients are operated upon would be best. In fact, my editorial to be published in SGO says this. We would like your reaction and will proceed as you suggest.
Ira Teicher came to me the other day wanting me to propose him for Clinical Professor. I explained to him some reasons why I thought it might be better to wait a year. If you think he has a good chance of being promoted to Clinical Professor, I will propose him. However, the present tenor of that Committee seems to be such that they may be a bit hypercritical of qualifications these days. What do you think?
Ira also tells me of a man by the name of Roberts who is working with him in his office. I don't know exactly what their relationship is professionally. Ira wanted me to put him up for Clinical Instructor and Assistant Attending here at the County. This seemed to me to be worthy of consideration until he told me that Roberts is engaged in a program of teaching the house staff at Adelphi Hospital. I told Ira that we have shunned away from associations with Adelphi in the past, but that I would ask you how you felt. I expressed the opinion that it would probably be best if Roberts severed himself from such connections before we appointed him.
Ira Polisar is also after me to promote him to full Professor. Again, I have serious misgivings about the Committee recommending this. Ira is giving me a fair amount of trouble generally, but I wonder if we can hope to be successful on this. What do you think?
Just a bird's eye view of some of Ira's problems. He has this fellow, Maurice Miller, who is supposed to be a key man in his Hearing and Speech Clinic. Miller is on salary on his training grant. The training grant was turned down for renewal, but is up for reconsideration now. If the training grant is turned down on reconsideration, Miller will be out of job come July 1 or so. This, Ira says, will ruin the Hearing and Speech Clinic. Miller also has a rather large grant having to do with Hearing, for which he needs space to build a soundproof room and some other facilities. We have been unable, so far, to find this kind of space around here. Apparently this grant was put in without adequate evaluation of the space requirements and recognition on Ira's part that space was at a premium. Ira also wants to make Dorothy Wolff full time. The lab that they run has recently been recognized by the American Otolaryngological Association as a center for the study of the temporal bone, and now there is some talk of starting some sort of bone bank, etc.
[Handwritten note in the margin: Ira wants a state line for Miller]
Otherwise things are going reasonably well. We have our problems, but they seem to be soluble one way or another. That interesting open-heart case I mentioned last time was done very nicely. There are a few more cases for the pump being scheduled now. Things seem to be looking up. We are using ACD bank blood up to six days old for perfusion in the lab. with very encouraging results. It looks as though we may be able to go over to this type of blood for clinical perfusions. This will help us a lot. Our training grant finally came through to start January 1, but with only $22,000 available for the first 18 month period. Exactly how we will handle this I don't know, but we are looking for good trainees.
We have very nearly filled our residency appointments for next year. I am planning to take eight first-year residents with the plan of having six chief residents here and having two men available to spill over into the University Hospital staffing pattern three years from now. Our present first year is staffed the same way. This will help us to take up the slack. We are trying to convince the Dean to provide additional lines for us right now to prepare men for the time when the University Hospital opens. He seems willing to go to bat for this.
We trust you are all well and happy. Merel Harmel has been so impressed with reports of what a fine time you all are having that they are seriously thinking of going there next year. My heartiest greetings to you all. So long.
[Handwritten from this point on:] Ray Shapiro was just in to say that the Plastic Service is running well & amicably these days. He feels there is no urgency in making any decision regarding a director. Incidentally, he is preparing to take the Board of Plastic Surgery for which he is eligible. He voiced an "emotional attachment" (he says) for Dr. Teplitsky & suggested that he (Ray) would like to see him offered the job if he (Teplitsky) would take it. Perhaps Ray wants us to do nothing so that he & the rest become entrenched?
Bromberg came in now & offered to take the service over & combine this residency with Meadowbrook. I know you're way ahead of me on this.
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