Showing posts with label pathology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pathology. Show all posts

Friday, July 23, 2010

Letter of the Day: July 23

Surgeon General’s Office

Washington City, D.C.

July 23d 1866


Prof. H.L. Smith


Dear Sir,


Yours of the 19th came duly to hand and I thank you very much for the growing slides. They are very ingenious and I shall value them the more as being your work. You know that the whole energy of the microscopic labor under my direction is directed towards Pathology and I only turned to the Diatomacea as test objects in developing the photographic process which we are using with the most complete success on the tissues. Still as I feel we have mastered the whole matter of microphotography, I should be glad to photograph a few more diatoms by way of showing those who are not interested in Pathology how good and reliable our process is and of inducing them to use it also. Should you therefore care to take the trouble of sending us a few specimens of carefully selected single diatoms for the Museum, we would in the course of the summer and fall undertake their photography, and cheerfully furnish you copies of our results. I think Wales really a clever young man. He has made me a number of pieces of apparatus, which with rare exceptions have given perfect satisfaction. His photographic 4/10, 1/8 and amplified leave little to be desired further. I have just received from him a 1/5 for photography, which however I have not tried. All of these lenses are made on Rutherford’s formula and can only be satisfactorily used for vision when illuminated with violet light. He is now making me a 1/16 on the same principle, from which I expect great things. He has improved enormously since I first knew him.  In fact in /62 I saw lenses of his in the hands of various parties and regarded them as very inferior. It was not until 1864 that he began to make work of the highest class and I do not think that at present he would claim even to have made a 1/16 of the best quality. Barnard objects to his 4/10 that it is really a ¼ and so perhaps it is, but it is the habit of nearly all opticians to misstate the power of their lenses and I find his run quite parallel in nomenclature to those of Smith + Beck and other English opticians.


I am, Sincerely,

signedd. J.J. Woodward

Bvt. Maj. and Ass’t. Surg. U.S.A.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Letter of the Day: May 8

U.S. Army Post Hospital,
Fort Union, N.M., May 8th 1879

To the Surgeon U.S.A.
Washington, D.C.


I have the honor to inform you that I have this day turned over to the Post Quartermaster at this post, one box containing the heart of Leander A. Case, late Corporal of Co. “F” 15 Infantry, who died at this hospital April 14th 1879 of paralysis of heart. For history of this case see 3rd page of monthly reports of sick and wounded for April 1879.

Enclosed please find Quartermasters receipt for the box.

Very respectfully,
Your obt. Servt.
Carlos Carvallo
Asst. Surgeon U.S.A.
Post Surgeon

Monday, February 22, 2010

Letter of the Day: February 11 makeup

Another letter showing the Museum’s move towards being a Pathology Institute.


Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 1252


United States Indian Service,

Pine Ridge Agency, S.D. [South Dakota]

2/11/96 [1896]


To the Surgeon General, U.S.A.

Washington, D.C.


Dear Sir:


I send you by this mail a little box containing a pill box, in which is a tiny tumor which I removed from an Irish lady’s gum, at the margin and between the upper central incisors. The tumor has been removed, 3 times, but recurs. By soaking the specimen, its nature can be ascertained under the microscope ,and if not too much trouble may I ask you what is its pathology?


Very Truly & Sincerely,


Z.T. Daniel


Handwritten Note: Tumor received Feb. 15, 1896


The letter sent back reads:


March 5, 1896


Dr. Z.T. Daniel,

U.S. Indian Service,

Pine Ridge Agency,

So. Dakota


Dear Doctor:


I received, on February 15, 1896, through the Surgeon General, a pill box in which was contained a tiny fragment of a tumor, described as having been removed by you from an Irish lady’s gum. The appearance of the fragment of material contained in the box did not lead one to anticipate that a microscopical examination would give any result, inasmuch as you omitted to place it in any hardening fluid. No amount of soaking the specimen, as suggested by you, would be of any use, since, upon section, we found that there had been a complete destruction of all nuclei and cells contained in the tumor. For this reason it is impossible for us to ascertain anything concerning the microscopical character of this growth. If, however, you will remove another fragment of the tumor, and place it at once in 95% alcohol, and forward it to me, I will take pleasure in informing you as to the true character of the growth.


Very respectfully,


Walter Reed

Surgeon, U.S. Army



The issue of what an Indian Service doctor was doing treating an Irish lady remains unsolved as well.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Letter of the day: February 5

Surgeon General’s Office
February 5, 1873

Dr. H.A. Martin

My dear doctor: Yours of the 3rd has just reached me. The diptheritic cast reaches us safely, has been placed in the medical section, and is fully appreciated. Dr. Otis having written, I supposed had acknowledged this as well as the cast of the plastic operation. Let me assure you the omission did not arise from want of appreciation. Many thanks for the additional vaccine vesicle. Those you previously sent are undergoing the hardening process and will soon be ready to make sections. I am sanguine of interesting results, and will write you how we get along. A full set of the section will be reserved for you.

The catalogue of the Library, first edition, is out of print; only three hundred and fifty copies were printed. Dr. Billings is now at work on a second edition which will contain about twice as many titles as the first. Your name has been put down for a copy of the first part of the medical history of the war now in the hands of the binder.

I learned last evening that a little boy who was staying with the Shermans, when I vaccinated them last, and who left immediately after took nicely. I had intended to write you that Mrs. Sherman’s arm was quite sore after the last vaccination but presented nothing characteristic. On the whole I hardly think it worth while to re-vaccinate them again, regarding them as “protected,” especially as I used the method you described. If, however, you think it worthwhile, I will urge them to try once more.

Sincerely your friend,

J.J. Woodward

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Post book review on creating a cell line

This review of THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS hy Rebecca Skloot (Crown. 369 pp. $26) is fascinating. One knows cell lines exist, but one doesn't realize that they can be tracked back to a person.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Noteworthy Pathologists

I've been processing a collection called the Registry of Noteworthy Research in Pathology. I expected to be thoroughly bored with the material and have been pleasantly surprised that I find a lot of it interesting. Like this photograph of pathologists gathered in Holland in 1934 that I came across today.

OK, it's a bunch of people in a photo. What makes this so remarkable is a letter that accompanied it to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology where the sender writes, "It probably represents the last time that some of the great giants of pathology of the early part of the 20th century ever came together. Only a few attended the Third Congress in Stockholm in 1937 and then came the War. By the time of resumption of meetings in 1950 most of them were gone."

The records even include a chart of names of some of the attendees.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Brazilian pathology blog

Here's a tip from one of the pathologists at work - his friend Luciano Franco of Brazil has started The Background Doc, a blog about interesting autopsies he's done. Of the first four posts, I'd say two were of general interest - polycystic kidney disease and worms in the gut.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

AFIP Recognized by U.S. and Canadian Academy of Pathology

This showed up at work yesterday. USCAP grew out of the International Association of Medical Museums that the Army Medical Museum helped to found. AFIP is slated to be closed by 2011 due to BRAC, and replaced with a Joint Pathology Center, which is still undefined.

The United States-Canadian Division of The International Academy of Pathology

Executive Vice President
January 6, 2009

Dr. Florabel Garcia Mullick
Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
FROM: Fred Silva, M .D .
Executive Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer

USCAP Scientific Abstracts from your Institution

According to our records, this year your institution was in the top twenty in number of first authored scientific abstracts accepted for presentation at the USCAP 2009 Annual Meeting in Boston. There was an all time record of almost 2,800 scientific abstracts submitted from over 430 different medical school programs and academic institutions (over 230 in the US and Canada and 200 from around the rest of the world) . This represented the highest ever percentage increase (16%) over the previous record year . All abstracts are subject to blinded peer review, and the cutoff score was quite high . Well over 3,000 pathologists are expected to attend the 2009 meeting where the accepted scientific abstracts will be presented . These scientific offerings are also published in the January issues of both of our Academy's journals, two of the "top five general pathology journals" by impact factor in the world - Modern Pathology and Laboratory Investigation -which reach well
over 10,000 subscribers, both individuals as well as institutions throughout the world . As you know we have partnered with the most outstanding medical publisher in the world-Nature Publishing Group (NPG). These journals are also online with NPG with its 60,000 monthly eTOC subscribers and on our international USCAP Website (the latter of which now receives up to five million hits/month internationally from up to 22,000 individual pathologists/month from 129 countries) . The USCAP,which is one of the oldest pathology societies in North America, is generally viewed as the premier academic society of anatomic, surgical pathology, and diagnostic molecular pathology and the attendance at our annual meeting is the largest gathering of physician-pathologists in the world by far. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of the future of pathology and medicine and all those patients, physicians and students we serve. It is obvious that your institution has worked hard to support and generate these important studies which will help advance the specialty of pathology as well as medicine in general. On behalf of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology I want to extend our congratulations to you and express my personal appreciation for all that you and your faculty have done to enhance the scientific program of our Academy and our discipline.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A day in the life...

Today began with nothing much on the calendar, but Bruce from the Department of Veterinary Pathology (VetPath) stopped by to say that Dr. John King was arriving with his donation of 35mm slides for the museum. Dr. King and Cornell University had been digitizing the collection as Dr. John M. King's Necropsy Show & Tell and posting them online. They got about 1/2 done, but Dr. King donated all the slides to us and we're going to finish the scanning job.

Dr. King was in his early 80s, and lively and full of interesting stories about veterinary pathology and how there are some controversies in the field like the bursting aortas of racehorses (which I'd never heard of - the competing theories are high blood pressure v. King's compressing the chest when collapsing or mating). He's also a collector of veterinary instruments and brought down some for us.

When I mentioned this collection coming in, I didn't tell you readers that it's 48,000 35mm slides in 108 notebooks, arranged by animal and pathology (ie herpes, heart disease, liver failure). Cool, huh?

Midday was a tour for Lauren the intern's mom. It's always fun to take people that are interested on a tour. Lauren's done a great job for us this summer, working most recently on updating the Vorwald Collection finding aid and adding more material into the trade literature collection (ie advertising), General Medical Products Information Collection.

Later on in the day, we got a call from people doing renovations in the area the AFIP director works in and so we removed paintings of the former directors for safe storage while the work goes on.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pathology article in Washington Post talks about value of saved tissue

"In a Va. Lab, Forging Links To Speed Cancer Advances GMU, With Ties to Italy, Aims to Be a Biotech Force
," By Michael Laris, Washington Post Staff Writer, Wednesday, February 27, 2008; B01.

New book donated to museum

We just received The Tropical World of Samuel Taylor Darling: Parasites, Pathology and Philanthropy by E. Chaves-Carballo, Sussex Academic Press, 2007.

Dr. Chaves-Carballo used our collection a little bit to write this biography of the pathologist at Panama's Gorgas Hospital. We have Darling's pathological reports and autopsies of the hospital in OHA 177 Gorgas Hospital Autopsies and Pathology Reports, 1900s-1970s. Darling discovered the fungal disease Histoplasmosis (although according to the book he thought it was a protozoa) and a picture from us of a 1905 autopsy report of the first case is on p. 66. The autopsy records also showed how many cases of malaria (called estivo-autumnal fever) was killing people.