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.
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.