Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
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.