University of Minnesota. Dept. of Surgery.

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The Department of Surgery was established in 1904 under the direction of James E. Moore (1904-1919). Arthur C. Strachauer who headed the department until 1925 succeeded him. Owen H. Wangensteen assumed the responsibilities for the department in 1926 although he did not officially receive the appointment until 1930. Very few documents exist for the early years of the department. It was not until 1941 that correspondence files were retained.

Owen Harding Wangensteen was born on a farm near Lake Park, Minnesota on September 21, 1898. Although he enjoyed farming, his father urged him to go to Medical School. He entered the University of Minnesota and received his medical degree in 1922 and a Ph.D. in 1925. Until he was appointed head of the Surgery Department he studied surgery in Switzerland in 1927 and 1928.

Wangensteen established a flexible program of training for surgeons that involved 1 to 3 years of training in the laboratory where research skills were developed. Creativity and innovation was encouraged as Wangensteen was keenly interested in developing new methods and better surgical tools.

During Wangensteen's administration, affiliations were formed with a number of local hospitals. This enabled him to expose his students to a broader range of surgical experience than could be given at University Hospital as well as accommodate more interns. The head of surgery in each hospital held a faculty position. These affiliations included the Veterans' Hospital, Mount Sinai, and Ancker Hospital.

Primarily a gastrointestinal surgeon, the collection most thoroughly documents his research efforts such as the Wangensteen gastric tube and the use of gastric hypothermia to treat peptic ulcers. During the period, cancer patients relied on surgery as a treatment for tumors. Wangensteen performed or directed a number of radical operations for cancer including the "second look" program in which a patient would undergo a second operation after a period of years to determine if the cancer was gone. Wangensteen established one of the early cancer detection centers at the University in 1947.

An ongoing concern of Wangensteen and his colleagues was the extent to which surgeons could treat private patients in the University Hospital. The hospital was established for those who would be otherwise unable to pay for their treatment. The extent to which surgeons and other doctors could treat patients was a problem to which the Medical School gave a great deal of attention and policy was created to deal with the matter. The Baker Fund was set up as the means to collect private practice medical fees and make them available for research projects.

The most remarkable work done during this period was in cardiac surgery. C. Walton Lillehei did the first successful open heart surgery in 1952. Clarence Dennis, who developed the heart-lung machine, and Richard DeWall, who invented the bubble oxygenerator, were other members of the team. One of Lillehei's students, Christian Barnard, performed the first heart transplant.

Owen H. Wangensteen retired as Head of Surgery in 1967. A few years before his retirement Wangensteen contracted a debilitating disorder that ended his ability to do surgery. With the assistance of his wife, Sarah (Sally), he developed his strong interest in the history of medicine. Through his interest and energy the History of Medicine Collection in the Bio-Medical Library was established and a chair was created for a Professorship in the History of Medicine.

After his retirement, Wangensteen concentrated his research interests in the history of medicine. He died on January 13, 1981. His successor as Head of Surgery was John Najarian.

From the guide to the Papers of the University of Minnesota Department of Surgery, 1927-1968, (University of Minnesota Libraries. University of Minnesota Archives [uarc])

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn James Edward Moore papers, 1882-1930 University of Minnesota Libraries. University Archives [uarc]
creatorOf University of Minnesota. Dept. of Surgery. Papers of the University of Minnesota Department of Surgery, 1927-1968. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
creatorOf Papers of the University of Minnesota Department of Surgery, 1927-1968 University of Minnesota Libraries. University Archives [uarc]
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Absolon, K. 1887-1960. person
associatedWith Absolon, K. (Karel), 1887-1960 person
associatedWith Ackerman, Norman B. person
associatedWith Amberg, Raymond Michael, 1895-1968. person
associatedWith American Cancer Society. corporateBody
associatedWith American Cancer Society. Minnesota Division. corporateBody
associatedWith American College of Surgeons. corporateBody
associatedWith American College of Surgeons. Surgical Forum. corporateBody
associatedWith American Medical Association. corporateBody
associatedWith American National Red Cross. corporateBody
associatedWith Ancker Hospital. corporateBody
associatedWith Ariel, Irving M. person
associatedWith Armstrong, Wallace D. 1905- person
associatedWith Aust, J. Bradley person
associatedWith Aust, J. Bradley (Joseph Bradley) person
associatedWith Balfour, Donald C. 1882- person
associatedWith Barnard, Christiaan, 1922-2001. person
associatedWith Barnard, Christiaan N., 1922- person
associatedWith Baronofsky, Ivan D., 1917- person
associatedWith Beaumont, William, 1785-1853. person
associatedWith Bellis, Carroll Joseph, 1908- person
associatedWith Bell, James Ford, 1879-1961. person
associatedWith Bernard, Claude, 1813-1878. person
associatedWith Bernstein, Eugene F., 1930- person
associatedWith Blalock, Alfred, 1899-1964. person
associatedWith Blegen, Theodore Christian, 1891-1969. person
associatedWith Bowers, Warner Fremont, 1906- person
associatedWith Castaada, Aldo R., 1930- person
associatedWith Charles C. Thomas Publisher. corporateBody
associatedWith Cohn, Edwin Joseph, 1892- person
associatedWith Coller, Frederick A. person
associatedWith Copplestone, Victor M. person
associatedWith Copplestone, Victor M. person
associatedWith Cowling, Donald J. 1880-1965. person
associatedWith Creevy, Charles Donald, 1902- person
associatedWith D'Allaines, François. person
associatedWith D'Allaines, François person
associatedWith Davis, Loyal, 1896-1982. person
associatedWith Day, Stacey B. person
associatedWith DeBakey, Michael E. 1908-2008. person
associatedWith Dennis, Clarence, 1909-2005. person
associatedWith DeWall, Richard Allison person
associatedWith DeWall, Richard Allison. person
associatedWith Diehl, Harold S. 1891-1973. person
associatedWith Dixon, Claude Frank person
associatedWith Dixon, Claude Frank. person
associatedWith Dragstedt, Lester R. 1893- person
associatedWith Fahr lecture. corporateBody
associatedWith Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. corporateBody
associatedWith Ferguson, Donald John person
associatedWith Ferguson, Donald John. person
associatedWith French, Lyle A. person
associatedWith Friesen, Stanley R., 1918- person
associatedWith Gault, Neal L. person
associatedWith Gault, Neal L. person
associatedWith Gilbertson, Victor A. person
associatedWith Gilbertson, Victor A. person
associatedWith Goott, Bernard person
associatedWith Goott, Bernard. person
associatedWith Gott, Vincent L. person
associatedWith Graham, Evarts Ambrose, 1883- person
associatedWith Griffith, Ward O. person
associatedWith Griffith, Ward O. person
associatedWith Halsted Society corporateBody
associatedWith Halsted Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Hans, Leontine Marian person
associatedWith Hans, Leontine Marian. person
associatedWith Hay, Lyle Joseph person
associatedWith Hay, Lyle Joseph. person
associatedWith Health Action Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith Heimlich, Henry J. person
associatedWith Hennepin County General Hospital corporateBody
associatedWith Hennepin County General Hospital. corporateBody
associatedWith Hitchcock, Claude Raymond person
associatedWith Hitchcock, Claude Raymond. person
associatedWith Howard, Robert Bruce, 1920- person
associatedWith Imamoglu, Kamil person
associatedWith Imamoglu, Kamil. person
associatedWith Ivy, A. C. 1893-1978. person
associatedWith Ivy, A. C. (Andrew Conway), 1893- person
associatedWith Jay Phillips Committee to Study Post-Poliomyelitis Nerve Muscle Dysfunction and Afunction. corporateBody
associatedWith Judd lecture. corporateBody
associatedWith Keys, Thomas E. 1908- person
associatedWith Khan, Agha Mohammad Yahya, 1917- person
associatedWith Kremen, Arnold James. person
associatedWith Lewis, John F. person
associatedWith Lewis, John F. person
associatedWith Lillehai, C. Walton, 1918- person
associatedWith Lillehai, Richard, 1927-1981 person
associatedWith Lillehei, C. Walton, 1918- person
associatedWith Lillehei, Richard, 1927-1981. person
associatedWith MacLean, Lloyd D. 1924- person
associatedWith Maluf, Noble S. R. person
associatedWith Maluf, Noble S. R. person
associatedWith Mayo, Charles W. 1898-1968. person
associatedWith McQuarrie, Irvine, 1892- person
associatedWith Mears, Frederick Blackburn person
associatedWith Mears, Frederick Blackburn. person
associatedWith Meredino, King Alvin Aurelius person
associatedWith Meredino, King Alvin Aurelius. person
associatedWith Middlebrook, William T. person
associatedWith Middlebrook, William T. person
associatedWith Miller, Fletcher A. person
associatedWith Minneapolis Surgical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota Academy of Medicine. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota Citizen's Committee for Health and Research. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota Medical Foundation. corporateBody
associatedWith Moore, George E. 1920-2008. person
associatedWith Moore, James Edward, 1852-1918 person
associatedWith Morrill, J. L. 1891-1979. person
associatedWith Mosby Publications corporateBody
associatedWith Mosby Publications. corporateBody
associatedWith Mount Sinai Hospital (Minneapolis, Minn.) corporateBody
associatedWith Myers, J. Arthur 1888-1978. person
associatedWith Najarian, John S., 1927- person
associatedWith Nakayama, Kōmei, 1910- person
associatedWith National Advisory Heart Council (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith National Cancer Institute (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith National Research Council (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith North, John Paul. person
associatedWith Ochsner, Alton, 1896-1981. person
associatedWith Owen H. Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine. corporateBody
associatedWith Pack, George T. 1898-1969. person
associatedWith Paine, John Randolph, 1906- person
associatedWith Papermaster, Aaron A. person
associatedWith Papermaster, Aaron A. person
associatedWith Peltier, Leonard F., 1920- person
associatedWith Perry, John F., 1923- person
associatedWith Phillips, Jay, 1898- person
associatedWith Raffucci-Arce, Francisco Luis person
associatedWith Raffucci-Arce, Francisco Luis. person
associatedWith Ramsay, Maria person
associatedWith Ramsay, Maria. person
associatedWith Ravdin, Isidore S. 1894- person
associatedWith Rea, Charles Ethan, 1908- person
associatedWith Rigler, Leo G. 1896- person
associatedWith Ritchie, Wallace Parks, 1905- person
associatedWith Root, Harlan D., 1926- person
associatedWith Sako, Yoshio person
associatedWith Salmon, Peter Alexander person
associatedWith Salmon, Peter Alexander. person
associatedWith Sellers, Robert Douglas person
associatedWith Sellers, Robert Douglas. person
associatedWith Shahon, Donald Bernard person
associatedWith Shahon, Donald Bernard. person
associatedWith Shumway, N. E. 1923- person
associatedWith Shumway, N. E. (Norman Edwards), 1923- person
associatedWith Smith, Grafton Adrian person
associatedWith Smith, Grafton Adrian. person
associatedWith Snapper, I. 1889- person
associatedWith Snapper, I. (Isidore), 1899- person
associatedWith Society of University Surgeons. corporateBody
associatedWith State, David person
associatedWith State, David. person
associatedWith St. Barnabas Hospital (Minneapolis, Minn.) corporateBody
associatedWith St. Joseph's Hospital (Saint Paul, Minn.) corporateBody
associatedWith St. Paul Surgical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Sullivan, William Albert person
associatedWith Sullivan, William Albert. person
associatedWith Temkin, Owsei, 1902-2002. person
associatedWith Thal, Alan Philip person
associatedWith Thal, Alan Philip. person
associatedWith United States. Army. Base Hospital 26, Allery. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Public Health Service. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. BioMedical Library. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. Cancer Center. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. Cancer Detection Center corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. Committee for the Study of Physical Facilities for the Health Sciences corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. Committee for the Study of Physical Facilities for the Health Sciences. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. Diehl Hall. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. Hospital and Clinic. Medical Record Room. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. Mayo Memorial Building corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. Mayo Memorial Building. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. Medical School. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. Program in the History of Medicine. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. Study Group on the Development of the Biological Sciences. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. Variety Club Heart Hospital. corporateBody
associatedWith Varco, Richard Lynn, 1912- person
associatedWith Veterans Hospital (Minneapolis, Minn.) corporateBody
associatedWith Visscher, Maurice B., 1901-1983. person
associatedWith Wangensteen, Owen Harding, 1898- person
associatedWith Watson, Cecil J. 1901- person
associatedWith White, Paul Dudley, 1886-1973. person
associatedWith Willard, William R., 1908- person
associatedWith Wilson, Leonard G. 1928- person
associatedWith Zimmerman, Bernard, 1921- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Minnesota
Subject
Medicine--History
Cancer--Research
Krebiozen
Surgical instruments and apparatus
Hypnotism in surgery
Digestive organs--Cancer
Cancer--Surgery
Surgery--Research
Operating rooms
Fund raising--Minnesota
Gastrectomy
Cold--Therapeutic use
Laboratory animals--Minnesota
World War, 1939-1945--Hospitals
Hypothermia, Induced
Medicine--Research
Operating rooms--Research
Surgeons--Fees
Private practice
Rare books
Passano Award
Surgery--Ulcers
Fund raising
Nursing
Orthopedic surgery
Surgery--Study and teaching
Surgery
Ulcers--Surgery
Surgeons
World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives
Laboratory animals
World War, 1939-1945--Medical care
Heart--surgery
Surgery, Operative
Stomach--Cancer
Occupation
Activity

Corporate Body

Active 1927

Active 1968

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