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This House of Noble Deeds

The Mount Sinai Hospital, 1852-2002

Jr., Arthur H. Aufses, Barbara Niss

Publication Year: 2002

On January 15, 1852, nine men representing various Hebrew charitable organizations came together to establish the Jews' Hospital in New York with a vision of offering free medical care to the indigent Hebrews in the City who were unable to provide for themselves during their illness. This was the beginning of The Mount Sinai Hospital.

Now, a century and a half later, This House of Noble Deeds celebrates the scientific and medical achievements of The Mount Sinai Hospital. From its original 45-bed building, the Mount Sinai Medical Center has developed into a state-of-the-art facility comprising a 1200-bed hospital, a major medical school, and a research enterprise with a faculty of almost 3000.

Arthur H. Aufses, Jr. and Barbara J. Niss have identified and documented the most important scientific contributions of Mount Sinai over the past 150 years. They present histories of each major department and division, rich with anecdotes, biographical sketches, and photographs. In addition, they share the fascinating story of the hospital's creation and development, a story that ultimately transcends the parameters of the hospital itself and speaks to the broader matter of Jewish and medical history in New York.

Published by: NYU Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-

It is the men and women of The Mount Sinai Hospital, their unique characters, and especially their accomplishments, that this book celebrates. Nowhere is the expression “We stand on the shoulders of giants” more true than at Mount Sinai. The 150th anniversary of the Hospital...

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Introduction The Mount Sinai Hospital: An Overview

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pp. 1-17

ON JANUARY 15 , 1852, nine men representing various Hebrew charitable organizations came together to establish the Jews’ Hospital in New York to offer free medical care to indigent Hebrews in the City who were not able to provide for themselves during their illnesses. This...

PART I THE FIRST DEPARTMENTS Medicine and Surgery

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pp. 17-

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THE DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE 1 The Leadership of theDepartment of Medicine

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pp. 19-

OF ALL OF the “Giants” in Mount Sinai’s past, few were bigger than the ones that ruled the medical wards at Mount Sinai. Names such as Libman, Brill, Baehr, and Oppenheimer would all find a place in a “Who’s Who” of twentieth-century medicine. There were several factors...

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2 Division of Cardiology

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pp. 43-52

A S I S TRUE for many of the great medical divisions at Mount Sinai, the history of cardiology begins in the basement. That’s where, in 1909, Alfred E. Cohn first installed the electrocardiograph machine he had brought back with him from Europe, one of the first of its kind to be...

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3 Division of Clinical Immunology

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pp. 53-57

THE DIVISION OF CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY, created in 1978, is one of the younger divisions of the Department of Medicine. Established to develop a research program in immunology, it also was given responsibility for the clinical activities of the allergy clinics. The understanding of the concept of allergy is recent, and Mount...

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4 Division of Endocrinology

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pp. 58-64

LONG BEFORE THE SPECIALTY of endocrinology existed as an official division at Mount Sinai, there were physicians who were actively involved in the field. Julius Rudisch was one of the Hospital’s first physicians interested in diabetes. Born in Russia, Rudisch studied medicine...

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5 Division of Gastroenterology

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pp. 65-74

PROGRESS THROUGH MULTIDISCIPLINARY collaboration has been a watchword of Mount Sinai throughout its existence. Nowhere is this in greater evidence than in the Division of Gastroenterology. J. Hugh Baron and Henry D. Janowitz have recently edited a very complete...

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6 Divisions of Hematologyand Thrombosis Research

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pp. 74-89

BY 1924, this was already an understatement of the past and a prediction for the future. In 1908, Reuben Ottenberg had been appointed the George Blumenthal, Jr., Fellow in Pathology. He wrote his first paper as an intern at the German Hospital (later called Lenox Hill Hospital), and his 1908 publication, “Transfusion and Arterial Anastomosis,” won the...

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7 Division of Infectious Diseases

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pp. 90-95

MORE THAN A century before the creation of the Division of Infectious Diseases in 1968, the physicians of the Hospital were contributing to the diagnosis and management of the entire spectrum of infectious disease. Major epidemics of typhus and cholera devastated New York...

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8 Division of Liver Diseases

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pp. 96-101

WITHIN THE FIRST six months of the June 5, 1855, opening of the Jews’ Hospital, two patients with “intermittent bilious fever” were admitted. The first (Case No. 48) had an enlarged tender spleen and was treated with quinine and “sulphas” and an ointment applied to the...

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9 Department and Divisionof Neoplastic Diseases

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pp. 102-109

THE STUDY AND treatment of cancer at Mount Sinai transcends any one Department or Division, encompassing the efforts not only of oncologists but also of chemists, microbiologists, cell biologists, pathologists, radiologists, radiotherapists, environmental scientists, and surgeons...

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10 Division of Nephrology

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pp. 110-115

HOMER SMITH, the renowned nephrologist, once said, “We are what we are because we have the kind of kidneys we have.”1 In like manner, Mount Sinai’s Division of Nephrology is what it is because of the kind of physicians who were interested in diseases of the kidney. Many of...

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11 Division of Pulmonary Medicine

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pp. 116-121

HOMER SMITH, the renowned nephrologist, once said, “We are what we are because we have the kind of kidneys we have.”1 In like manner, Mount Sinai’s Division of Nephrology is what it is because of the kind of physicians who were interested in diseases of the kidney. Many of...

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12 Division of Rheumatology

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pp. 122-125

THE TERM “RHEUMA,” which literally means “flowing,” was used by Hippocrates to describe an excess of watery humor thought to flow from the brain. Ancient Greek physicians used “rheuma” interchangeably with “catarrhos” to describe a variety of illnesses, including joint...

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THE DEPARTMENT OF SURGERY 13 Department of Surgery

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pp. 126-158

THE HISTORY OF SURGERY at the Jews’ Hospital begins June 8, 1855, when patient No. 1 in the case books of the Hospital was admitted three days after the opening of the Hospital doors. L. S., a forty-twoyear- old male with a fistula-in-ano, was successfully operated on by Israel...

PART II THE LATER DEPARTMENTS

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pp. 159-

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14 Department of Anesthesiology

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pp. 161-171

THE SUCCESSFUL DEMONSTRATION of ether anesthesia by William Morton in 1846 was followed one year later by the introduction of chloroform by Sir James Simpson. These events set the stage for all patients who might require anesthesia to obtain it when the Jews’ Hospital...

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15 Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery

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pp. 172-181

FROM 1914 UNTIL 1990, the Thoracic Surgical Service and, later, the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery were an integral part of the Department of Surgery. In 1990, an independent Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery was established in the Medical School and in the Hospital....

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16 Department of Dentistry

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pp. 182-190

ALTHOUGH THE SCOPE of modern dental training and practice embraces all the diseases and abnormalities of the mouth and jaws, it is the core identification with the decay, infection, and loss of teeth that established dentistry’s importance in public health. This was officially recognized...

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17 Department of Dermatology

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pp. 191-199

AT THE TIME The Mount Sinai Hospital was founded in 1852, there was no formal dermatology department. Dermatology as a specialty was not officially recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties until 1938, when the American Board of Dermatology and...

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18 Department of Emergency Medicine

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pp. 200-204

ON JUNE 3,1855, two days before the opening of the doors of the Jews’ Hospital on West 28th Street, the Board of Directors (today’s Trustees) decreed that “the Visiting Committee be instructed not to receive any patients other than Jews except in cases of accident, until further...

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19 Department of Geriatrics andAdult Development

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pp. 205-217

ESTABLISHED IN 1982 as the first academic geriatrics department in the country, the Department of Geriatrics and Adult Development is a relative newcomer to the Mount Sinai scene. Mount Sinai’s pioneering tradition of geriatric medicine, however, can be traced back to the beginning...

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20 Department of Neurology

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pp. 218-227

NEUROLOGY HAD ITS ORIGIN as a specialty at Mount Sinai in June 1890, when a clinic for neurologic cases was created in the newly opened dispensary building at 67th Street and Lexington Avenue. Three years later, Bernard Sachs was appointed as “Consultant” Neurologist to the Hospital and placed in charge of the Clinic. Attracted...

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21 Department of Neurosurgery

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pp. 228-234

ALTHOUGH THERE IS little doubt that Charles A. Elsberg deserves the accolade “Father of Neurosurgery” at Mount Sinai, neurosurgical procedures were performed in the last decades of the nineteenth century, before his time. In 1885, William Fluhrer, best known as a urologist,...

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22 Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences

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pp. 235-253

ON AUGUST 10 , 1856 , a twenty-six-year old widow, with one healthy child, was admitted to the Jews’ Hospital in her ninth month of pregnancy. Labor ensued on August 27, and at 8:34 p.m. she was “safely delivered of a fine male child,”1 the first baby to be born at the Hospital....

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23 Department of Ophthalmology

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pp. 254-262

THE FIRST RECORDED eye operation at the Jews’ Hospital was performed in 1860. Seligman Teller, the House Physician and Surgeon, reported on A. L., a peddler, “who by the effect of a cold lost the sight of his right eye which was affected by cataract and glaucomatous disease....

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24 Department of Orthopaedics

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pp. 263-275

ALTHOUGH AN OFFICIAL Department of Orthopaedics was not established until 1909, the first orthopaedic patient (Case #9) was admitted June 14, 1855, nine days after the Jews’ Hospital opened its doors. The patient was a two-year-old boy with a transverse fracture of the...

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25 Department of Otolaryngology

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pp. 276-285

STORIES AND ANECDOTES about the Great Blizzard of 1888 abound, and, like most hospitals in New York, Mount Sinai did not go untouched by the storm. Ironically, the blizzard provided an opportunity for an important Mount Sinai first: the first performance in America...

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26 Department of Pathology

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pp. 286-298

WHEN THE J E W S ’ Hospital opened its doors in 1855, pathology and laboratory services were essentially nonexistent. The need for such facilities, however, became apparent when, six months after the opening of the Hospital, Mark Blumenthal, the Resident and Attending Physician...

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27 Department of Pediatrics

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pp. 299-311

WHEN THE JEWS’ HOSPITAL first opened, children were admitted to the Hospital and placed on adult wards. The development of a separate pediatric service had to wait for the rise of pediatrics as a specialty. The emerging field owed much to the efforts of one man, Abraham...

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28 Department of Physics

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pp. 312-315

IN THE 1920 Annual Report, Leopold Jaches, Radiographer to the Hospital, expressed the need for “the employment of a trained physicist to obtain and measure the emanations and do much of the technical work connected with the use of radium.”1 However, it was not until...

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29 Department of Psychiatry

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pp. 316-332

THE CARE OF the mentally ill has been part of the tradition of The Mount Sinai Hospital since it opened in 1855. From the very first, the Jews’ Hospital was one of only a few general hospitals in this country that admitted mentally ill patients. This was in contrast to the practice at...

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30 Department of Radiation Oncology

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pp. 333-341

WITHIN THE FIRST two decades after the discovery of x-rays by Roentgen in 1895 and of radioactivity and radium by Antoine Henri Becquerel (1896) and Marie Curie (1898), major centers for radiation therapy appeared in Stockholm, Paris, London, Manchester, and New York. Mount Sinai purchased its first x-ray machine in 1900. The earliest...

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31 Department of Radiology

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pp. 342-350

THE ORIGINS OF the Department of Radiology provide us with a prime example of Mount Sinai’s perpetual need for more space. When the Hospital purchased its first x-ray machine in 1900, it was set up in the synagogue, a portion of which had already been converted to an operating...

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32 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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pp. 351-361

THE GREAT MEDICAL AUTHORS of ancient times, including Hippocrates and Galen, mention in their writings the use of physical agents to treat disease and to improve health and human function. Physical agents such as heat, cold, water, sun rays, exercise and massage have...

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33 Department of Urology

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pp. 362-372

PATIENTS WITH GENITOURINARY DISORDERS have been admitted to the Jews’ Hospital from its earliest days. Two patients with prostatic hypertrophy and urinary retention were among those admitted in the first nine months of the Hospital’s operation in 1855–1856,...

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34 Laboratory Departments

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pp. 373-382

A PATIENT IN The Mount Sinai Hospital of 1890 might have a rudimentary analysis done of his blood or urine, but these tests were handled in an ad hoc setting by a young physician in training. In 1893, the first real laboratory, called the Pathological Laboratory, was established...

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Afterword The Years of the Giants

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pp. 383-394

MOUNT SINAI HAS always been full of stories about “the Giants” who roamed the halls long ago. It is interesting that these stories always relate to a time in the past, regardless of when they are told. Interns in the 1890s heard tales of the Giants, as did Interns of every succeeding...

Appendix A

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pp. 395-396

Appendix B

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pp. 397-400

Notes

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pp. 401-468

Index

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pp. 469-492

Boards of Trustees

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pp. 493-494

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About the Authors

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pp. 495-

Born and educated in New York, ARTHUR H. AUFSES, J R . , has been affiliated with Mount Sinai for more than forty-five years. He served as Chairman of the Department of Surgery from 1974 to 1996. He has...


E-ISBN-13: 9780814705353
E-ISBN-10: 0814705359
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814705001
Print-ISBN-10: 0814705006

Page Count: 507
Publication Year: 2002

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Subject Headings

  • Mount Sinai Hospital (New York, N.Y.) -- History.
  • Hospitals -- New York (State) -- New York -- History.
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