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History of Medicine in Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia. (Links Added)
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Hans Hecht exemplifies the ingenuity, modesty, and commitment of the early faculty. When he arrived in 1944, at a salary of $2,000 per year, no space could be found for his activities. He noticed an auditorium in the infirmary and suggested having the floor rebuilt. The triangular space created served as the heart station and Hecht's research laboratory for many years.

The growth of the medical school profoundly affected the quality of medicine in Utah and especially in the Wasatch Front communities. The presence of the four-year school not only brought many well-qualified experts to the faculty but also acted as a powerful magnet to attract well-trained specialists from many other centers to practice in the community and to seek clinical (teaching) appointments in the medical school. More and more of the best medical students from Utah were guided by the faculty to the best post-graduate training programs in the East and Midwest. The new doctors returned to fill vacancies on the faculty or to relieve shortages in the community. The medical school also stimulated an unusual amount of research in the local private hospitals. The increasing number of training programs at the University of Utah Medical School provided more and more specialists in Salt Lake City, Ogden, Provo, and eventually throughout Utah and the entire Intermountain area.

The original postwar faculty of six members in the Department of Medicine covered the entire field of internal medicine, took care of all medical patients, taught medical students on a four-quarter schedule, and initiated significant research programs. Drs. Max Wintrobe and George Cartwright concentrated on hematology, Hans Hecht on cardiology, Frank Tyler on endocrinology and metabolism, Val Jager on neurology and syphilology, and Utah native John Waldo on infectious diseases. Two additional departments have since been created: Neurology and Family and Preventive Medicine. By 1992 the Department of Medicine had grown to 202 members in thirteen divisions. The Department of Surgery, consisting of three full-time members in 1947, now comprises eighty-one members in ten divisions, and two divisions have become separate departments: Ophthalmology and Neurosurgery.


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