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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

More Portland Medicine in the Oregonian Souvenir 1892: The University of Oregon Medical Department

The Oregonian Souvenir 1850-1892: October 1, 1892 (Portland: Lewis & Dryden, 1892), published by the Oregonian newspaper to boost Portland and the state, provides one view of Oregon medicine as Esther Clayson (later Pohl Lovejoy) attended medical school. The last post featured the Oregonian Souvenir's take on St. Vincent's and Good Samaritan. Today a look at the representation of the University of Oregon Medical Department, newly-installed in its grand new building at 23rd and Lovejoy.

This copy of the McCaw, Martin and White architectural drawing of the new 1892 UOMD building appears on p. 77 of the Oregonian Souvenir. (Compare it with this image in the Historical Collections & Archives, Oregon Health & Science University.)

The editors provided a brief history of the founding of the UOMD in 1887. "After great effort, and the consequent annoyance in arranging the details of an enterprise of this magnitude and importance, it was decided by the board to erect a small temporary building on ground owned by the Good Samaritan Hospital" where the first sessions were held.

The new building, they said, had it all. "The beautiful and commodious building occupied by the Medical College at the present time, was erected with a view of its adaptability to the very best and most advanced instruction in medicine, more especially in laboratory and other practical work in the science." It was "fitted with all of the best appliances of a modern medical school."

Clinical facilities at St. Vincent's and Good Samaritan hospitals "are unexcelled by any colleges located in cities the size of Portland, in the United States." And the faculty "has kept pace with the advances in medical education and the curriculum of the school now covers four years' study, and three winter courses entitle the student to the degree of M.D." The faculty wanted "to make and keep the school prominent among the standard colleges of the United States."

In a final flourish the editors noted: "The members of the faculty are strong, vigorous and enterprising, highly successful in the practice of their chosen profession, and thus far having succeeded in maintaining the high excellence of their school, they will not allow it to fall behind in the race for supremacy among medical colleges on the coast." (Oregonian Souvenir, 77-78)