Ohio History Journal

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5




by H. M. PLATTER, M.D.

In September 1889 I enrolled in Starling Medical College

with Dr. Thomas C. Hoover as my preceptor. I had already

completed three years of preliminary education at Ohio Wesleyan

University. Dr. Hoover was professor of surgery at the college

and the visiting surgeon to St. Francis Hospital. At the con-

clusion of my freshman year, the first house physician or intern

was appointed for St. Francis, and the college announced that

succeeding house physicians would be chosen from among the

students who had finished their courses in the upper third of their


Living quarters for the house physician were provided in

the hospital, but entrance thereto was through the medical college

up three flights of winding stairs and past the dissection room to

the back of the building. Dr. Hoover's student--myself--and

Dr. Loving's student--Edgar M. Hatton--also were required to

share the two rooms provided for the house physician. The quar-

ters were comfortable, quiet, and gave every opportunity for study.

Here for a period of three years, I resided, and then I received

the appointment as house physician and served in that capacity

during the year of 1892-93.

The announcement in the annual report of the hospital each

year stated that the ordinary time for daily visits of the physicians

and surgeons was between 9 and 11 o'clock each morning. In

case of emergency they would be called immediately, day or night.

The house physician, the announcement read further, was in con-

stant attendance during the day and night. This latter statement

was only too true! Either the house physician or the two students

who occupied his quarters were subject to call at all times. If they

did not report they were severely reprimanded.

At that time the hospital was known as a "closed" institution,