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History of Medicine in Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia. (Links Added)
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Statehood (1896) to the Present

The University of Utah was founded in 1850. Fifty-five years later, in 1905, the school's Department of Medicine was formed with six professors and an annual budget of $10,000. The name was changed to University of Utah Medical School in 1912, but the program was still limited to only the first two years of a full medical course. Graduates were required to transfer to four-year schools in the East or Midwest to complete their training.

In 1920 a new red-brick building on the university campus, constructed by the army as a dormitory for military officers during the World War I, was turned over to the medical school and served as the basic science building until 1965. With the nation's entry into World War II in 1941, pressure was exerted by the AMA and the U.S. Army to convert the two-year school to a full four-year medical school, since none existed between Denver and San Francisco.

The expansion was approved in 1942, and the Salt Lake General Hospital at 21st South and State streets, the state's only public hospital, was designated as the university's teaching facility. Dr. A.C. Callister, a practicing surgeon appointed part-time dean in 1942, was surprisingly successful in recruiting a small but outstanding group of physicians, teachers, and researchers, in spite of the appalling lack of funding and facilities and a severe nationwide shortage of physicians.

Conditions at the Salt Lake General Hospital were poor. An interesting incident is characteristic of the early years: in 1944 the chief resident in surgery was performing surgery on a patient when, in the middle of the operation, all lights went out. He called out for the hospital engineer, who was the only person familiar with the antiquated wiring and plumbing of the decaying structure. Suddenly, the staff remembered that the engineer was the patient on the operating table. The procedure was completed by flashlight illumination, and the patient recovered satisfactorily.

The nucleus of the four-year faculty arrived between 1943 and 1945. Dr. Philip Price and Dr. Maxwell Wintrobe came from Johns Hopkins; Drs. John Anderson, Robert Alway, and A. Louis Dippel, Emil Holmstromb, and Dr. Leo Samuels, came from the University of Minnesota; Dr. Louis Goodman and Dr. Thomas F. Dougherty came from Yale.


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