Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Department of Surgery, 1893


Surgery was first taught at the medical school in 1893 by Dr. William R. Chipman, one of the school's seven founders, who sponsored a lecture course and demonstrations that included cadaver dissection and surgical operations. At the turn of the century surgery was also taught through clinics at the Boston Dispensary and the Boston City Hospital, where students were permitted to observe operations. By 1929 surgical lectures and clinics were offered to second- and third-year students, while senior students spent a month on surgery during the course of their rotations.

Until 1949 the Department of Surgery was led by a part-time chair who was also a practicing surgeon. However, that year Dr. C. Stuart Welch, who was named professor and chairman of the department at Tufts and surgeon-in-chief at the New England Medical Center, began to develop the school's first full-time surgical department. He recruited new faculty in anesthesia, urology, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, and pediatric surgery and went on to establish a productive surgical research laboratory at the New England Medical Center's Ziskind Building. He also introduced a five-year surgical residency program in cooperation with the New England Medical Center, the Boston V.A. Medical Center, and the Boston City and Newton-Wellesley Hospitals.

In 1952 Dr. Welch was succeeded by Dr. C. Gardiner Child, III, who set out to establish a true university teaching service that would include subsidized wards for the care of indigent patients. He was successful in organizing this service at the Boston City Hospital, where he also established a research laboratory. After Dr. Child stepped down in 1958, Dr. Ralph Deterling , Jr. became head of the department and continued the work of developing full-time faculty at the New England Medical Center, the Boston City Hospital, and the Boston V.A. Medical Center.

After Dr. Deterling retired in 1974, Dr. Richard J. Cleveland, an inter-nationally recognized cardiovascular surgeon, was appointed professor and chairman at the school and surgeon-in-chief at the New England Medical Center. Dr. Cleveland, who received his M.D. degree and his postgraduate education at the Medical College of Virginia, has been responsible for instituting progressive improvements in the undergraduate teaching curriculum and for redefining the graduate training program in surgery and subspecialties. During his tenure, surgical research facilities have been enlarged and modernized at the New England Medical Center, and operating suites and intensive care facilities have become available at the new Boston Floating Hospital. Eight Tufts affiliated teaching hospitals - including the Baystate Medical Center, the Faulkner Hospital, the New England Medical Center, the Newton-Wellesley Hospital, St. Elizabeth's Hospital, the Boston V.A. Medical Center, and the Winchester Hospital - have been integrated into the overall teaching, training, and clinical activities of the department.

During the last decade the number of full-time surgical faculty has doubled at the school. Members of the department have become increasingly productive in their contributions to surgical literature and publish about one hundred papers per year in major medical journals. The faculty have also held leadership positions in important commirtees and on surgical specialty boards and have been represented at national and international conferences. Dr. Cleveland has been chairman of the American Board of Thorasic Surgery and has served on the American Board of Surgery and on the residency review committees for general surgery and thoracic surgery, while Dr. Paul Friedmann has led the Surgery Residency Review Committee. Dr. Burton Harris was president of the International Society of Aeromedical Services, the Society for Pediatric Trauma, and the New England Pediatric Surgical Society.

Source: COE, 158-59.

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  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
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Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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