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Evaluation of the Faculty

The original Faculty of Cooper Medical College in 1882, as listed previously, was composed of 12 full professors, and 3 teaching assistants.

Twenty years later, in academic year 1901-1902, the Faculty as listed below consisted of 13 full professors, 2 emeritus professors and 2 acting professors - constituting a professorial staff of 17, augmented by 13 teaching assistants. Considering the programmatic change during the intervening years from three annual courses of identical lectures to a four-year graded curriculum, and the advent of new clinical and basic science disciplines, the growth of the Faculty over the twenty-year period was commensurate with the increase in their teaching responsibilities.

Faculty of Cooper Medical College in 1901-1902

  • L. C. Lane, M. D., President
    Professor of Surgery

  • C. N. Ellinwood, M. D.
    Professor of Physiology

  • Adolph Barkan, M. D.
    Professor of Ophthalmology, Otology and Laryngology

  • Henry Gibbons, Jr., M. D., Dean
    Professor of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women and Children

  • Jos. O. Hirschfelder, M. D.
    Professor of Clinical Medicine

  • A. M. Gardner, M. D.
    Professor of Legal Medicine, Mental and Nervous Diseases

  • W. T. Wenzell, M. D., Ph. M.
    Professor of Chemistry

  • Stanley Stillman, M. D.
    Professor of Surgery

  • Emmet Rixford, M. D.
    Professor of Surgery

  • William F. Cheney, M. D.
    Professor of Principles and Practice of Medicine, and Secretary

  • Wm. Ophüls, M. D.
    Professor of Pathology

  • Geo. F. Hanson, Ph. G., M. D.
    Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics

  • Geo. B. Somers, M. D.
    Professor of Gynecology

  • Clinton Cushing, M. D.
    Emeritus Professor of Gynecology

  • Jos. H. Wythe, M. D.
    Emeritus Professor of Microscopy and Histology

  • Walter E. Garrey, Ph. D.
    Acting Professor of Physiology

  • Albert H. Taylor, M. D.
    Acting Professor of Anatomy

Teaching Assistants (13)

  • Anatomy 5
  • Histology 1
  • Hygiene 1
  • Materia Medica 1
  • Medicine 2
  • Obstetrics 1
  • Pathology 1
  • Surgery 1

With respect to the quality of teaching, we have referred previously to the excellence of such professors as Lane, Henry Gibbons, Sr. and Jr., Barkan, Hirschfelder, Stillman, Rixford and others, who were outstanding clinicians by regional standards. According to the testimony of graduates, they were also respected teachers. In brief, Cooper Medical College had a strong clinical program, an asset that was ably preserved during and after its transition from proprietary institution to university status. As we have frequently noted, the professors of the clinical departments received no income from the school and were self- supported by their medical practices. This would continue to be the case in these departments for many years to come.

On the other hand, as in the vast majority of American medical schools, the basic science curriculum at Cooper College was under-developed. In 1901-1902 at Cooper these subjects were in the main taught gratuitously by practicing physicians with special preparation and interest in the fields of Microscopy and Histology (Wythe); Chemistry (Wenzell); Pathology (Ophüls); Pharmacology (Hanson); Physiology (Garry); and Anatomy (Taylor). Of these professors, only Dr. Ophüls was salaried full time by the College, thus providing him alone with the support to conduct teaching and research at the university level.

We should add that American medical schools generally were unable to provide adequate support for basic science departments. Income from student fees upon which the schools relied for funds was insufficient to cover salaries and other costs incurred by teaching programs in these rapidly developing and now essential branches of medical education.

American medical schools, including Cooper Medical College, were faced with increasingly insistent pressure to undertake radical reform, and with the growing realization that they had neither the fiscal nor the intellectual resources for the task. Organic union with a university and transition to an authentic doctoral program within that context was being widely recognized as the course to be followed.

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Internships Available in 1901-1902

According to the "Ideal Standard" of the AMA Council on Medical Education as published in 1905, every medical graduate should have an internship of one year's duration to supplement the clinical experience gained as an undergraduate. Therefore, the availability of internships to Cooper graduates is among the valid indicators of the relative quality of the school's educational program. [28]

The Annual Announcement of Cooper College for 1882 listed internships as available only at the San Francisco City and County Hospital. Significant progress was made during the following two decades. According to the Annual Announcement for the Session of 1901-1902 seventeen internships were available in that year to Cooper graduates These positions of one year each in the following eight San Francisco hospitals entitled their possessors to room and board free of expense, and afforded invaluable opportunity for obtaining practical knowledge and experience: [29]

Lane Hospital 4
City and County Hospital 4
St. Luke's Hospital 1
German Hospital 2
Children's Hospital 2
California Women's Hospital 1
French Hospital 1
U. S. Marine Hospital 2

Total 17

In 1902 there were twenty-five graduates of Cooper Medical College whereas only seventeen internships were available according to the above tabulation. Thus Cooper College was eight internships short of meeting the "ideal standard" of the AMA Council on Medical Education, a serious deficiency. We should keep in mind, however, that the Medical Department of the University of California was also producing graduates in need of internships in San Francisco Hospitals. Under the circumstances a shortage of internships is not surprising. We shall later see how the successor to the Cooper school provided internships for its students. [30]

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