Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/225

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219
RESEARCH IN MEDICINE

university trustees the value of investigation, particularly of the preventable diseases, as a necessary and dignified type of university effort.

It is of interest to note the various ways in which research chairs or departments have been established. Some have been the result of the multiplication of chairs devoted to one general subject, as at Harvard, which has in the medical school chairs of comparative pathology, comparative physiology and comparative anatomy, each of which is quite distinct from the chairs responsible for the fundamental undergraduate instruction in pathology, physiology and anatomy. The establishment of these chairs, in part through special endowment, has greatly increased the facilities and time available for research in these fundamental branches and for special or more detailed instruction in the various activities which they represent. Likewise the splitting off from bacteriology of independent departments of preventive medicine (Harvard and Washington universities) has increased the opportunities for the study not only of the infectious diseases, but also of those due to industrial conditions, to poverty and insufficient methods of preparing and handling food-stuffs.

Of similar origin are the departments established recently at Pennsylvania and Tulane for the study of tropical diseases. So also at Harvard an opportunity for similar effort has been made possible through the endowment of a traveling professorship in the department of bacteriology. In the same way increased facilities for investigation in chemistry has been brought about by the founding of departments devoted to physiological chemistry, independent of the older chairs of chemistry and toxicology; by the recognition of a sphere of usefulness in experimental pharmacology independent of materia medica and applied therapeutics; by departments of experimental pathology and pathological physiology, neuro-pathology and surgical pathology cooperating with or independent of the traditional departments of pathology; by the evolution in surgical teaching and research of laboratories of experimental and veterinary surgery, and, in our hospitals, of laboratories of clinical pathology. These departments, in most instances, having some instructorial duties, have an enormous influence in furthering research and in indicating the need for its extension. For the most part, whether founded on special endowment or otherwise, they are the result of an influence from within, the desire of the university authorities to increase opportunities for investigation and to improve facilities for teaching. Both these objects have been attained, and the success of many of these laboratories is a most potent argument in favor of increased endowment.

That such efforts are beginning to yield fruit, that the public is awakening to the importance of endowing research in medicine and is bringing to bear an influence from without, is shown by the increasing number of gifts, often spontaneous, for the support of investigation