By John Schleicher
Irving Cutter, M.D., was born in 1875 in New Hampshire, and as a boy he came to Nebraska with his family. He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1898. For six years following graduation he worked as a high school teacher and principal. He graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in 1910, at age 35. After graduation Cutter practiced medicine in Lincoln for three years, and was also an instructor in physiological chemistry at the University of Nebraska. In 1913 Cutter became professor of biochemistry at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine.
Dr. Cutter became Dean of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in 1915, and served in this capacity until 1925. He then became Dean of Medicine at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. Cutter remained at Northwestern University for 16 years, retiring in 1941. While at Northwestern University, Dr. Cutter also acted as Medical Director of Passavant Hospital in Chicago.
Beginning in 1934, Cutter was medical editor for the Chicago Tribune, writing a daily column on health called “How to Keep Well.” The various topics of his columns cover a wide range of medical topics, from diabetes to poison ivy, and worry as a cause of heart disease to hardening of the arteries.
Cutter served in World War I as a Captain in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army from 1918-1919, and held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Officers’ Reserve Corps from 1920-1929. In 1923 Cutter was elected president of the Association of American Medical Colleges. He was president of Phi Rho Sigma from 1927-1934. He died in 1945, at age 69, of prostate cancer.
By John Schleicher
Some of the artwork on the UNMC campus often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. The centennial sculpture (pictured), located in the passageway between Wittson Hall and the hospital is one of those works of art. The sculpture honors the 100th anniversary of the College of Medicine, and was dedicated in October 1980. Originally the sculpture stood outside, between Bennett Hall (then called South Lab Building) and the Lied Transplant Center (then the site of Conkling Hall, former School of Nursing building). Created by artist Danny Whetstone, the sculpture is the centennial logo, representing the past, present and future generations of the college. When located outside, the sculpture included an eternal flame that demonstrated the college’s continuing commitment to health care.
In March 1996, the demolition of Conkling Hall began, to make way for the Lied Transplant Center. The sculpture was removed and later placed indoors in the passageway where it now stands.
To visit the UNMC archives, contact the Special Collections Department to schedule an appointment or inquire at the AskUs desk on the 6th floor of the library.
By John Schleicher
“The anatomical remembrancer; or, complete pocket anatomist: containing a concise description of the bones, ligaments, muscles, and viscera; the distribution of the nerves, blood-vessels, and absorbents; the arrangement of the several fasciae; the organs of generation in the male and female, and the organs of the senses.”
This is the title of a little book from the rare book collections of the library. It is the eighth edition of a work published by William Wood & Company in New York in 1877. This little book, not much bigger or thicker than a cell phone (it is 3½ by 5 inches and is about ¾ of an inch thick, with 297 pages), contains easily usable information, with a description in the preface saying it will “make it calculated to assist alike the practitioner and the student.”
The book belonged to and was used by Edgar C. Swift, M.D. (1857-1927), while a student at Syracuse Medical School in New York state. He received his M.D. in 1881. Some of his descendants later came to Omaha.
So, next time you pull your smart phone out of your pocket to access online resources from the McGoogan Library of Medicine, remember Dr. Swift’s little anatomical book.
By John Schleicher
Everyone knows that the stork delivers newborn babies! But for many years in Omaha, that “stork” was Leon S. McGoogan, M.D. (1900-1993), namesake of the McGoogan Library of Medicine at UNMC; whose personalized Nebraska license plates were emblazoned with the word “Stork.”
By his own estimate, McGoogan delivered 9,000 babies from the time he started practice in Omaha in 1930 until his retirement. During World War II, being one of only five obstetricians in the city, he delivered an average of 50 to 60 babies a month at Immanuel Hospital where his practice was located. He served as chair of UNMC’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology from 1950-55, and again from 1961-62; for nearly sixty years he was an instructor in the department.
While busy delivering babies, teaching medical students, and volunteering for numerous civic organizations, Dr. McGoogan occupied some of his free time by creating beautiful holiday decorations for Immanuel. For Dr. McGoogan’s service to the library of medicine at UNMC, the library was named in his honor in 1978. Two of his beautiful holiday creations are among his papers and other memorabilia in the library’s Special Collections.
Happy holidays to all from the McGoogan Library staff! Dr. McGoogan’s “warm, friendly, traditional” holiday spirit lives on in the facility named for him.
By John Schleicher
The academic structure of UNMC includes six colleges, which have been established over the last 130 years. Two of these six colleges started out as privately-owned, for-profit institutions; with three others established first as schools before they were elevated in rank to become colleges.
The oldest college is the College of Medicine, which began as the Omaha Medical College in 1881, and affiliated with the University of Nebraska in 1902. The newest college, as of July 2015, is the College of Allied Health Professions, which began as the School of Allied Health Professions in 1972.
In between, four other colleges have been established over the years. The College of Dentistry started in 1899 as the Lincoln Dental College, and became part of the university in 1903. The College of Pharmacy started as a School of Pharmacy in 1908, and was made a college in 1915. It subsequently moved to Omaha in the 1970s when the present College of Pharmacy building was built.
The School of Nursing was started in 1917, when the University Hospital opened, and it was made a college in 1972. The College of Public Health was organized in 2006.
In 1968, when the University of Nebraska administrative structure was reorganized, all health professions programs were placed under the administrative umbrella of the medical center, regardless of their location across the state. Since that time, the campuses (Lincoln, Omaha and the Medical Center—the Kearney campus joined in 1991), were considered semi-autonomous degree granting institutions within the same system, each with their own chancellor, and a university system president located in Lincoln.
The archives has various resources available if you are interested in finding out more about the history of any of UNMC’s colleges. To visit the UNMC archives, contact the Special Collections Department at 402-559-7094 to schedule an appointment or inquire at the AskUs desk on the 6th floor of the library.