From the very
beginning, this was no ordinary medical school. The commitments to teaching,
quality of patient care, and research were remarkable. The school started
with a dreadfully inadequate physical plant and a minimal budget supported
by a state population of only 600,000. Outstanding teachers included
Drs. Lou Goodman, Max Wintrobe, and Tom Dougherty. Goodman (pharmacology)
was the author of the textbook The Pharmacologic Basis of Therapeutics,
used the world over, then and now; more than one and a half million
copies have been printed, in sixteen languages. Max Wintrobe, author
of the pioneer textbook on hematology, was an outstanding teacher, researcher,
and administrator. A hard-working, strict disciplinarian who set very
high standards, he required demanding individual case presentations.
He refused to accept married house officers, with the explanation that
"you can only have one love--medicine." After a senior resident got
married secretly, for fear of being fired, the unwritten rule was rescinded
in 1950. Tom Dougherty was a man of ideas. He posed questions that stimulated
others to initiate research projects and was prolific in his own output
At the end of
World War II, Leo Marshall, professor of public health and twice acting
dean of the University of Utah Medical School, suggested to Senator
Elbert Thomas of Utah that it would be very useful if wartime support
for scientific research given to the armed services could be adapted
to the support of civilian scientific institutions through the public
health service. As a result of Senator Thomas's efforts, Congress appropriated
$100,000, but 100 grant applications were received. Senator Thomas prevailed
in awarding the entire $100,000, then a princely sum, to the University
of Utah. The grant was renewed for twenty-eight years under Dr. Wintrobe's
direction and amounted to many millions of dollars.
The initial town-and-gown
relationship between practicing physicians and the university faculty
left something to be desired. Some physicians actually opposed the formation
of the four-year school, fearing competition for their patients. Dr.
Hans Hecht, pioneer academic cardiologist, and Dr. Ernst Eichwald, pathologist
and early expert on tissue transplantation--both graduates of German
medical schools--were required to enroll as senior students in the medical
school to obtain American M.D. degrees in order to be licensed in Utah.
The Utah State Board of Examiners was unwilling to grant an exemption
in spite of the outstanding contributions both men were already making
in their respective fields. Fortunately, this tension disappeared as
some of the oldtimers died out and graduates of the University of Utah
formed a large majority of the area's practicing physicians.