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The Henry Swan Papers

[University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Surgery Newsletter] pdf (266,888 Bytes) transcript of pdf
[University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Surgery Newsletter]
Volume 1, Number 3.
Number of Image Pages:
4 (266,888 Bytes)
1956-05-03 (May 3, 1956)
Swan, Henry
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Exhibit Category:
The Cold Heart: Hypothermia and Cardiac Surgery, 1949-1962
Box Number: 2
Folder Number: 20
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Physical Condition:
Series: University of Colorado, 1942-1984
Folder: Department of Surgery News Letters [Editorials by Henry Swan], 1956-1957
Department of Surgery News Letter
Vol. 1 No. 3
May 3, 1956
Administrative Facets of a Department of Surgery
Primarily, a university department is a faculty. Our Department of Surgery has 203 members on its faculty in the nine divisions of the Department: General Surgery, 75; Anesthesiology, 10; Neurosurgery, 7; Oncology, 3; Ophthalmology, 43; Orthopedics, 22; Otolaryngology, 17; Thoracic Surgery, 6; Urology, 17. Of these, ten are full-time, three are half-time, and 183 are volunteer; in addition, seven residents hold faculty appointments. The number of teaching hours provided by this faculty would be impossible to estimate. One must record also our five research fellows, eight secretaries, seven technicians, three dieners, and two nurses, as critical components of the Department.
The students of this faculty are also numerous. Enrolled in the Medical School this year are 320 undergraduate students. There are 48 interns at Colorado and Denver General Hospitals. At our three teaching hospitals (CGH, DGH and DVAH), 59 residents (graduate students) are in training. In addition, we participate to some extent in training 13 community hospital residents in their basic science courses, as well as other VA and Fitzsimons Hospital residents. At post-graduate level, the Department has given two official courses for practicing physicians and participated in several others, while The Community Hospital teaching teams have visited many communities throughout the State. Some time, of course, is given to the training of the 426 student nurses enrolled in the Nursing School.
One might, also think of the Department in terms of its services. Last year, in our three teaching hospitals, 8,038 patients received inpatient care, while 36,760 visits to our outpatient clinics were seen. There were 4,032 major operations and 3,118 minor ones.
The research activity was both extensive and productive. We know of 48 publications emanating from the Department during the academic year. An exhibit on "Surgery during Hypothermia," won the Hoektoen Gold Medal Award for the best experimental exhibit at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association in June, 1955. During the year, 168 physicians from this country and abroad visited our laboratory and clinic.
Or, one might view the Department in terms of its financial aspect. The total budget last year, exclusive of the hospital costs for patient care, was approximately $414,395.00, of which $60,605.00 was derived from the Medical School, $222,080 from Hospital funds, while $131,700 was from private and governmental agencies outside the University, primarily research funds. It is obvious that the Hospitals, which pay some faculty and all resident salaries, are the major source of support, while the research funds, comprising almost a third of the total, are critical in the maintenance of the quality of the Department's program. Actually, the Medical School itself supplies only about one seventh of our funds. From another point of view, it is interesting that the State of Colorado actually pays only about half of the cost of our Department (through the Medical School, the DGH, and the CGH); the other half is derived from outside funds (V.A. Hospital and research grants).
To achieve effective integration and coordination of these ingredients is obviously a major administrative endeavor. Furthermore, the research grants must be actively sought, an effort requiring much faculty time, travel, and travail. This adds up to a burden of administration which has grown to be almost overwhelming. It is a serious shortcoming of modern medical education that the job of a Department Head has become so filled with administration that time for teaching, for personal research, and for patient care must be sandwiched into a hectic schedule. Time for rest and contemplation is essentially non-existent. Ways and means must be found to streamline and reduce department administrative overload if medical schools are not to lose the benefit of what is presumed to be the best and most important talents of their top level faculty.
It is obvious that our Department is a large and complex operation, which involves many people. Its products are teaching of high quality, expert medical services, and research of broad scope, all supported .by a variety of financial sources. None of these endeavors run themselves. Each requires active promotion and organization. To supply these is an important function of the full-time staff.
Henry Swan
Faculty News
Dr. Daniel Higbee's resignation as Head of the Division of Urology has been accepted, and Dr. Higbee will become Clinical Professor Emeritus. The Department will always appreciate the capable guidance he gave to the Division. Dr. Donald Newland has accepted appointment as Head of the Division. Dr. Newland and his entire faculty have made it clear that they wish as soon as possible to have a full-time urologist Join the staff in order to promote research and to give continuity to resident training. The Administration of the School has been fully apprised of this desire, but the matter of inadequate budget is a prime hurdle.
Dr. Frederick Good was elected Commissioner-at-Large of the National Blue Shield organization.
Dr. Henry Swan attended the meeting of The American Surgical Association in White Sulphur Springs in April, taking with him, as well as Mrs. Swan, Dr. John Wilson and Miss Virginia Beresford of the Halsted Laboratory. Dr. Wilson presented the paper on the effect of hypothermia on hemorrhagic shock in an extremely capable fashion. Much favorable discussion followed his presentation. Dr. John Foster, with daughter Kendall, and Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Sawyer attended the meeting. Dr. Swan also convened with the Veterans Administration Surgical Consultants and the Surgical Section of The American Heart Association, and then went on to Washington for a two day session of the Surgery Study Section of the United States Public Health Service.
At the recent meeting of The Southwestern Clinical Congress in Tucson, the following members of the Department presented papers: Sidney E. Blandford, B. T. Daniels, H. C. Fisher, J. B. Grow, Ervin A. Hinds, M. E. Johnson, C. S. Lyter, H. T. Robertson, J. R. Spencer, W. H. Wierman and R. Woodruff.
Dr. William R. Nelson and Dr. Mason Morfit attended the meeting of the James Ewing Society in New York City on April 5 and 6. Dr. Nelson presented their paper on "Lymphangiosarcoma in the Lymphedematous Arm Following Radical Mastectomy."
In accordance with our policy of emphasizing the proper management of acute injuries, many Junior and Senior students were excused from scheduled exercises and were urged to attend the Postgraduate Course in Trauma held at the Fitzsimons Army Hospital during the week of April 2nd.
In March, Dr. J. Cuthbert Owens participated in a 10-day orientation tour to San Antonio, Texas and Pensacola, Florida under the auspices of Medical Education for National Defense (MEND). The tour consisted of a series of discussions, demonstrations, and laboratory visits at facilities operated by the Army, Navy, Public Health Service and the Federal Civil Defense Administration. Faculty members of twenty-two medical schools gave serious attention to the problems of medical care of mass casualties caused either by natural disasters, conventional warfare, or explosion of nuclear weapons. Techniques for teaching these problems to medical students and the medical profession at large was emphasized. Interestingly, the problem of the care of mass casualties in local disaster is very similar to that produced by explosion of a nuclear weapon. Triage is crucial. In time of disaster all physicians, from psychiatrist to dermatologist, must become surgeons. The armed forces are really serious; and medical schools must begin to implement this facet of education for defense.
Miscellaneous Information
In a recent survey, the following information was obtained concerning the private practice of all ten members of the full-time surgical faculty.
Patients Operated by Full-Time Faculty
Source / 1954 /1955
Denver / 22 / 10
Colorado / 7 / 13
Other States / 18 / 28
Foreign Countries / 1 / 4
/48 /54
It appears that the entire full-time surgical faculty, under current arrangements, averages about one patient a week, the majority of whom come from outside the State.
Sir Reginald Watson-Jones and Dr. Preston Wade, of New York City, will visit the Department on May 18 and 19. Friday evening, May 18, at 7:45 P.M., they will speak in Denison Auditorium, and Saturday morning they will present a clinic on the management of trauma in Sabin Auditorium at 9:15 A.M. All members of the faculty are invited.
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