Blogs

The Drs. Coleman at Yale - a New Collection for Research

10 April 2012 - 12:56pm by Melissa Grafe

The Drs. Coleman of Yale

The Medical Historical Library recently acquired a collection of over 600 items dating from the late 18th and 19th centuries, including legal documents, correspondence, manuscripts, printed matter and photographs pertaining to the Coleman family of New Jersey. Of particular medical historical interest in this new collection are materials by two Coleman brothers, the Yale-educated physicians Dr. Isaac Pearson Coleman (1804-1869) and Dr. James Beakes Coleman (1805-1887).

James and Isaac exchanged over fifty letters in which they share some of their experiences at the newly founded Medical Institution of Yale College. One such letter sent to Isaac after his 1829 graduation from James, then still in New Haven, comments on Yale faculty: “We have in one of the new Professors one of the most theoretical criticising fellows to be met with. No writer from the flood to the present time escapes his lash and the worst of it is, he is an able and learned man and does it handsomely”.

In addition to attending the Medical Institution of Yale College, as was customary at the time for young aspiring physicians, the brothers had also obtained medical training under experienced preceptors. Their apprenticeships under Dr. Ewing and Dr. de Belleville of Trenton, respectively, are documented in the collection, as well as James’s acquaintance with Thomas Story Kirkbride.

During the decades as practicing physicians in New Jersey, the brothers continued to write on personal and family matters; they mention patients, including one case of “natural smallpox of the distinct variety, about 1,000 pustules,” as well as matters of contention in the profession such as “the modern notion of treating all acute diseases by the antiphlogisticating starvation method.” The collection also features manuscript lecture notes by James Coleman, recording a series of public lectures he prepared on the subject of phrenology.

The Coleman brothers collection, 1748-1910, Ms Coll 36, is now open for research!  A finding aid will be posted shortly.

Blog post by Judit Balassa, intern at the Medical Historical Library

Last few days to view exhibit

13 March 2012 - 5:11pm by Lynn Sette

Exhibit Ending on June 18


Medicine in Shakespeare’s London is a new exhibit at the Medical Library and part of the campus-wide celebration of Shakespeare.  Shakespeare included many medical references in his plays, such as the plague, midwifery, herbals, astrological medicine, and surgery.   This exhibit will pick up on these themes and feature works in early anatomy, surgery, and botanicals from the Medical Historical Collection.

For more information, http://shakespeare.yale.edu/

Online Exhibition http://www.yale.edu/printer/bulletin/htmlfiles/med/harvey-cushingjohn-hay-whitney-medical-library.html

Letters From a 19th Century Homeopath

15 February 2012 - 9:07am by Melissa Grafe

The Medical Historical Library recently acquired a collection of letters by John J. Cushing, one of the first homeopathic physicians in California. Cushing wrote in the 1850s to his family in Providence, Rhode Island from San Francisco, where he set up practice. The collection contains colorful anecdotes about Gold Rush era San Francisco, including some on his experiences as a doctor there.

In his letters, Cushing tells how he got barred as a homeopath from the newly formed local Medical Society on account that “the board could not regard my diploma as evidence of my medical education.” The correspondence also chronicles his efforts to maintain a practice against the fierce competition that he describes on January 31, 1855 as there were “four doctors to one patient.” Cushing eventually prospers despite difficulties in collecting his fees during money shortages, recounting gifts of gratitude and payments in kind from his patients. He reports on cases such as a 4-month convalescence from typhoid fever in 1857, and a difficult delivery of an 11lb. baby, in a letter dated January 15, 1855. His correspondence also illustrates customs and social norms of his time: for instance, he comments that people frowned upon bachelor doctors attending ladies of class.

by Judit Balassa

NIH Clinical Research Trials and You

13 February 2012 - 12:03pm by Lynn Sette

NIH’s new website, NIH Clinical Research Trials and You, helps patients to learn more about clinical trials, why they matter, and how to participate.  From the first cure of a solid tumor with chemotherapy to the use of nitroglycerin in response to heart attacks, clinical research studies have played a vital role in improving health and quality of life for people around the globe.

Research has shown that among the greatest challenges to recruitment of volunteers is the lack of general knowledge about what trials involve, where they are carried out, and who may participate.

"This new, centralized resource will make it much easier for the public and health professionals to learn about clinical trials and how people can participate in them" states Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., NIH Director.

Clinicians can read about evidence-based strategies for talking with patients about trials, print audience-tested posters to help promote trials in clinics and offices, and find other educational materials.

Visitors to the website will find information about:

  • The basics of clinical trial participation
  • First hand experiences from actual clinical trial volunteers
  • Explanations from researchers
  • Links on how to search for a trial or enroll in a research matching program

30 Day Trial to JAMAevidence

10 February 2012 - 4:49pm by Lynn Sette

JAMAevidence - Using Evidence to Improve Care

Evidence-based medicine (EBM) integrates the best available evidence with clinical experience that allows clinicians to recommend, and their patients to make, informed choices consistent with their values. JAMAevidence helps decision makers identify the best available evidence by providing guides to the systematic consideration of the validity, importance, and applicability of claims about the assessment of health problems and the outcomes of health care.

Includes textbooks, useful tools, such as a glossary, calculators, worksheets, critical appraisal forms, information cycle forms, question wizards.  Take a site tour now!

Read. Review. Write. Edit. Be a Part of the YJBM

24 January 2012 - 11:17am by dph24

The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine is a quarterly journal reviewed and edited by Yale biomedical faculty and students. The journal aims to showcase outstanding research articles from all areas of biology and medicine, publish significant case reviews, and provide both perspectives on personal experiences in medicine and reviews of the current state of biology and medicine.

Each Issue of YJBM features a Focus Topic. Upcoming Focus Topics are:

  • March 2012: Translational Medicine
  • June 2012: Biomedical Engineering
  • September 2012: Educating yourself in Bioinformatics
  • December 2012: The Brain

YJBM is available on PubMed Central and is an open-access publication. All publication costs are covered by the journal.

Please contact the editors at yjbm@yale.edu if you would like to discuss ideas for articles or are more interested in writing book reviews or reporting on various medical and scientific symposia occurring at Yale.

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