Detroit Surgeons-300 Years
Telephone: (313) 577-5310
Fax: (313) 577-5310
Department of Surgery
6-C University Health Center
4201 St. Antoine Street
For information about purchasing a set of the books in paper form or DVD Disc, call Janet Damm at (313) 745-8778.
The preface of Detroit Surgeons: 300 Years which follows provides additional information about this set of books:
Detroit surgeons plying their craft over three centuries is a colorful and mostly honorable story. I feel privileged to have been able to commit this history to pen and paper. Dr. Donald Weaver suggested I take on this project shortly after he became Chairman of the Department of Surgery. Prodding by him soon followed. It wasn’t long before I began to see the wisdom of his idea and agreed to proceed with the book.
A goal we both agreed upon was that the book should be easy to read and understand, not only for surgeons, but for others as well, including medical students, nurses and lay people. Since the storyline of the book takes some seemingly unusual twists and turns as events unfold, allow me to explain my reasons for assembling the various parts of the book in the manner that I did. The book begins with Cadillac’s arrival and construction of the fort at what is now the city of Detroit. The reader is immediately given a brief history of the forts in the region and the events that influenced them over time. This gives one a better understanding of the environment in which the first physicians in the area practiced medicine. These early doctors were all military surgeons who were assigned to the forts. The second part of the first chapter deals specifically with the type of medicine and surgery practiced at those forts. The French, British and American military surgeons are identified by name, and what is known about them is presented in the appropriate time sequence.
By the second chapter, Detroit has become the capital of the newly formed Michigan Territory. The forts and their surgeons play a deemphasized role as Detroit grows by leaps and bounds. With the ever- expanding population comes a steady influx of physicians and surgeons. Soon medical societies are formed, hospitals are built and a medical school is founded in Detroit. As a result, the book’s focus changes to surgery and the training of surgeons at those hospitals, as well as the evolution of the medical school’s department of surgery.
After the second chapter, the history becomes much more complex. Surgical disciplines such as orthopedics, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, neurosurgery, obstetrics/gynecology and urology evolve into their own surgical specialties, and as a result, they split off into their own separate departments within the medical school. At this point the common unifying thread for the remaining seven chapters becomes the medical school’s department of surgery. Each of those chapters is separated chronologically by the years a particular department chairman served at the helm. Surgically related events that occurred in the Detroit area during those years are presented. The histories of other surgical specialties and subspecialties are introduced along the way, usually in the appropriate time sequence. Their stories are then told in separate monographs, as are the surgical histories of some of the hospitals in the area. Each of the last seven chapters contains a biosketch of the respective department chairman at the end of the chapter. Many other prominent surgeons are also introduced along the way; additional information about them may be found in separate articles continued In the appendixes.
Other surgical-related events needing more in-depth coverage are introduced in the various chapters, and again the reader is directed to a monograph or an appendix article for further in ormation. All of these monographs and appendix articles appear in volume two of the book.
The book is meant to be a “living history” in the sense that volume two is not bound like the first nine chapters (volume one), but rather contained in a three-ring binder, so that additions and corrections can be made from time to time. When new information becomes available for volume two, it will be posted on the WSU Department of Surgery website (WSUsurgery.com) and can be downloaded and added to the three-ring binder.
For those who plan to read the nine chapters consecutively (as opposed to using the book as a reference source only), it is recommended that an entire chapter be read before reading any monographs and appendix articles pertaining to that chapter, since many of them are quite detailed and could otherwise cause the reader to lose the storyline.
Finally, if after reading this book you think there is important information missing, you may contact me through the department of surgery (313-745-8778) so I can hear your thoughts. Remember, this is meant to be a living document; I would welcome anyone who would contribute, or write themselves, anything of importance that should be added to volume two. As previously stated, additional articles or information will be posted on the department’s website for downloading and adding to the volume two, three-ring binder.