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The Alan Gregg Papers

Letter from Roger S. Greene to Alan Gregg pdf (151,021 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Roger S. Greene to Alan Gregg
Number of Image Pages:
3 (151,021 Bytes)
1930-11-21 (November 21, 1930)
Greene, Roger S.
Peking Union Medical College
Gregg, Alan
Courtesy of Eleanor Gregg.
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Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Schools, Medical
Exhibit Category:
"Rockefeller Man" in Brazil and Europe, 1919-1930
Box Number: 9
Folder Number: 8
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
November 21, 1930
Dear Gregg:
I have been reading your recent diaries with the keenest interest and am eagerly waiting for news as to the outcome of the discussions on policy which have lately been taking place in New York. I believe that your ideas will be an invaluable contribution to the Foundation. In particular, I am interested in your advocacy of a certain flexibility of policy which will still allow some attention to the dissemination and application of knowledge instead of the previously accepted idea of exclusive interest in research. It seemed to me from my conversations with Dr. Mason last year that he would be sympathetic to your idea. After all, our chance of finding men of original minds will be much improved if fundamental education is bettor developed.
I was much interested in Lambert's suggestion in his conversation of October 20th with you that one of the needs most keenly felt by medical schools was for more teaching beds. This brings me back to a point which I have previously discussed with our friends in New York, namely, the rigid exclusion of contributions to hospitals. Fortunately an exception has been made in China but elsewhere the rule seems to have been strictly applied. While I recognize that the rule has been a great help in making possible the elimination of one large group of applications, and while I believe also that the idea of making each community provide its own hospital facilities is fundamentally sound, I do believe that occasionally when it seems quite clear that the greatest need is for improvement or extension of clinical facilities, contributions to teaching hospitals ought occasionally to be made. I am reminded of a rather embarrassing case in connection with the Keijo (Seoul) University Medical School in Korea, which had been encouraged by some visiting members of the Foundation to make an application for help. At the request of the D.M.E., I paid a visit to the school and found that new laboratories had recently been built and equipped for the preclinical departments and that they were relatively speaking well cared for, whereas there was crying need for a new hospital. I suggested that in view of the fact that this was the most important need and considering further that Japanese medical education needs improvement in its clinical branches more than anywhere else, it would be desirable to make some contribution towards the fund for the teaching hospital in Keijo. This proposal was, however, turned down on the grounds of general policy, and I believe that a useful opportunity was thereby lost, to say nothing of the natural feeling of disappointment of people who had been encouraged to expect some substantial help, when they found that the Foundation was only willing to give for purposes that were already fairly well cared for.
In Miss Beard's diary I see several notes relating to midwifery training, all of which indicate that this training is intended only to be given to graduate nurses. As a result of the slight experience that we have had here, and judging by the experience of other countries, I cannot help wondering whether it is necessary to depend for midwives only on persons who have had the now rather long and expensive training of a nurse. I suppose that in England a very large proportion of the midwives are nurses but the situation there is somewhat peculiar. It would seem that girls who have finished a high school and have sufficient maturity might be trained in two years to be first class midwives and to know as much about nursing as is necessary for that particular kind of work. The effect of requiring graduation from a nurses' training school as preparation for a midwifery course will be to establish practically a five-year course for midwives. One could almost train doctors in that time. I do not believe that the needs of the poorer people will ever be adequately met by midwives who have had such a long and expensive training.
Yours sincerely,
Roger S. Greene
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