Michigan and the Great Lakes

Medical Lives and Scientific Medicine at Michigan, 1891-1969

Joel D. Howell, Editor
Portrays the development of modern medicine through the lives and work of six pioneers


U.S. health care has changed dramatically during the past century. A new breed of physicians use new machines, vaccines, and ideas in ways that have touched the lives of virtually everyone. How and why did these changes occur?

The biographical essays comprising this volume address this question through the stories of six scientific innovators at the University of Michigan Medical School. Michigan was the first major U.S. medical school to admit women, to run its own university hospital, and, by the turn of the century, was recognized as one of the finest medical schools in the country. The people whose stories unfold here played a central part in defining the place of medical science at the University of Michigan and in the larger world of U.S. health care.

Introductory sections are followed by biographical profiles of George Dock, Thomas Francis, Albion Hewlett, Louise Newburgh, Cyrus Strurgis, and Frank Wilson. Drawing on extensive archival research, the authors provide a richly textured portrait of academic medical life and reveal how the internal content of science and medicine interacted with the social context of each subject's life. Also explored is the relationship between the environment (the hospital, the university, and the city) and the search for knowledge.

These narratives expand our perspective on twentieth-century medical history by presenting these individuals' experiences as extended biopsies of the period and place, focal points illuminating the personal nature of medicine and locating the discipline within a social and institutional setting.

Joel D. Howell is Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Department of History, and Department of Health Services Management and Policy, University of Michigan.

Praise / Awards

  • ". . . an enjoyable and sometimes fascinating read, offering more than the common sketches of 'great men.'"
    Bulletin of the History of Medicine
  • "Included in this volume are sophisticated essays employing new research findings on some of the central figures in bringing scientific medicine to Michigan: George Dock, who promoted clinical research and established the clinical clerkship on a firm basis; Albion Hewlett, who taught students to apply new discoveries in physiology to the evaluation of patients; Cyris Sturgis, who turned teaching and research at Ann Arbor in the direction of joining experimental methods to patient care; Frank Wilson, whose work in electrocardiography made him a world authority on the electrical activity of the human heart; Louis Newburgh, who brought a highly sophisticated knowledge of metabolism to his work as teacher and researcher; and Thomas Francis, Jr., a leading virologist and epidemiologist, who brought new fame to Michigan in conducting the evaluation trials of the Salk polio vaccine. Joel Howell and his colleagues are to be congratulated for this suggestive work on Michigan's medical reputation. . . ."
    History of Education Quarterly

Look Inside


Introduction (Joel D. Howell)-1
The University of Michigan Medical School: A Tradition of Leadership (Kenneth M. Ludmerer)-13
George Dock at Michigan, 1891-1906 (Horace W. Davenport)-29
Albion Walter Hewlett: Teacher, Clinician, Scientist, and Missionary for "Pathologic Physiology" (W. Bruce Fye)-45
Cyrus Cressy Sturgis and American Internal Medicine, 1913-57 (Steven C. Martin)-73
Frank Norman Wilson: Theory, Technology, and Electrocardiography (Joel D. Howell)-101
Louis Harry Newburgh and Metabolism at Michigan (Steven J. Peitzman)-129
L.H. Newburgh: A Remembrance (Alexander Leaf)-153
Thomas Francis Jr.: From the Bench to the Field (Naomi Rogers)-161

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 208pp.
  • figures, photographs.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 1994
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-10465-9

Add to Cart
  • $74.95 U.S.