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Monday, October 10, 2011

Portland Medicine in the Oregonian Souvenir 1892

In the middle of Esther Clayson's (later Pohl Lovejoy) medical school years from 1890 to 1894 at the University of Oregon Medical Department in Portland the Oregonian newspaper published a large folio volume to boost Portland and Oregon towns and also to boost the Oregonian. Portland medicine in Esther Clayson's years got a favorable report in The Oregonian Souvenir 1850-1892: October 1, 1892 (Portland, Lewis & Dryden, 1892).

Esther Clayson and other students at the UOMD received practical instruction and experience at clinics and dispensaries at nearby St. Vincent's and Good Samaritan Hospitals. 

This image of St. Vincent's Hospital, the Children's Home and Good Samaritan Hospital appears on p. 28 of the Oregonian Souvenir in a photo by McAlpin and Lamb. St. Vincent's, located on 12th and Marshall, had been in operation since 1875 and would move to its new building in 1895. Good Samaritan had also opened in 1875 on Hoyt Street. [See Olof Larsell, The Doctor in Oregon: A Medical History (Portland: Binfords & Mort for the Oregon Historical Society, 1947), 514-27.]

Esther Clayson pursued her medical education at the same time that Portland nursing was professionalizing. Bellevue-trained nurse Emily Loveridge established the first Pacific Northwest training school for nurses at Good Samaritan in 1890. St. Vincent's followed in 1894, the year that Clayson received her M.D.

The editors of the Oregonian Souvenir wrote with enthusiasm about hospitals and charitable institutions in Portland as they hoped to boost the city and state. "Benevolent societies, public charities and hospitals are here in large representation," they wrote. "Poverty is almost unknown and want is very uncommon, but those who by sickness or misfortune are rendered helpless are well cared for." St. Vincent's, they reported, "has admitted about 15,000 patients" since its establishment in 1875. Good Samaritan "is one of the most thoroughly equipped institutions of its kind on the coast." (Oregonian Souvenir, 74.)