Howard Lilienthal and the Creation of Modern Thoracic Surgery

A portrait of Howard Lilienthal, MD done by Frank Netter, MD. Netter served in a Mount Sinai surgical clinic in the early 1930s.

This year marks the centennial of the creation of the Thoracic Surgery Service at The Mount Sinai Hospital, today’s Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Howard Lilienthal, MD was the first Chief of the Division and was a pioneer in the field. Later that same year (1914), he performed the first successful pulmonary lobectomy for inflammatory disease of the lung in the United States.  Much of his surgical work was made possible by the 1910 development by Charles Elsberg, a fellow surgeon at Mount Sinai, of a successful method of endotrachial anesthesia, allowing for open chest surgery.

Howard Lilienthal lived from 1861-1946.  Over his long career, he developed seven instruments and devices (a bullet probe and forceps, a portable operating table, a rib spreader, etc.), pioneered new operations, wrote many articles, and served in a variety of roles in various professional groups.  He was President of the New York County Medical Society as well as both the New York and the American Society for Thoracic Surgery, and a founder of what became the American Cancer Society.  In 1925 he published a two volume work on Thoracic Surgery, the first such textbook in this country; it was an instant classic.  Lilienthal was an officer in World War I, serving with Mount Sinai’s Base Hospital No.3 in France, as well as being placed in other hospitals that needed his expertise.  He was cited for a Distinguished Service Medal, but it never arrived. His only son, Howard Jr., died in 1918 while serving with a British regiment.

Lilienthal has been described as “elegant and aristocratic, very much in keeping with the Mt. Sinai tradition” of his time. He enjoyed fly fishing and painting, and when his failing eyesight ended his artist’s career, he wrote short stories for children. When he died in 1946, Mount Sinai mourned the loss of one of their best and most beloved surgeons.

 

Library Access For Faculty and Housestaff of Icahn School of Medicine

As of July 1st, 2014 faculty and housestaff with Icahn School of Medicine appointments at all sites across the Mount Sinai Health System (Beth Israel, St. Luke’s, Roosevelt, and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary) have access to the Levy Library’s online resources.

To Login:

Go to the Levy Library’s Website and select the e-journal, database, or e-book that you wish to use.  You will then be prompted to login.  Use your Mount Sinai network credentials OR your chpnet OR NYEEI ID and password.

For Help with Your Levy Library Login: 

  • BI and SLR: Contact CareTech at (212) 523-6486
  • NYEE: Contact the Help Desk at (212) 979-4273
  • Mount Sinai Hospital: Contact Academic Support Center at (212) 241-7091 or via email at: ASCIT@mssm.edu

Non-Faculty and Non-Resident Staff can access a core library collection that has been licensed for all staff at Mount Sinai Health System hospitals.  Local hospital librarians can also advise what other resources are available to you at your site.

All members of the Mount Sinai Health System are welcome to visit the Levy Library and use resources in-house.  Please bring your valid ID badge from a Mount Sinai Health System hospital.

For more information on Library Access, please see here.

Annenberg Building Dedicated 40 Years Ago This May

Vice President Gerald R. Ford and Walter Annenberg at the dedication of the Annenberg Building, May 26, 1974

On May 26, 1974, Vice President Gerald R. Ford was the principal speaker at the dedication of Annenberg Building, the home of the then new Mount Sinai School of Medicine. This celebration marked the culmination of two decades of work by Mount Sinai trustees and staff to raise the $152 million necessary to hire the faculty, create the curriculum, build the needed facilities and then find students willing to come to a new school with new ideas on medical education. The building was named for the Annenberg family because the eight children of Mrs. Moses (Sadie) Annenberg were early supporters of the fund raising campaign that created the School. The building was built to house the School of Medicine, but ultimately also had important spaces for The Mount Sinai Hospital, as well.

When the Annenberg Building opened, it had all the latest in technology, including ‘playback equipment for taped teaching aids’ and overhead closed circuit televisions. The Hospital side boasted a “computerized drug profile” for each patient and an automated medical record retrieval system. The radiology equipment was the latest, including a new ultrasound machine capable of displaying the anatomy of heart valves.

In his address, Ford said (as quoted in the NY Times), “I believe that cooperation and compromise are the only means by which our form of government – in this field and others – can move ahead successfully.” He had “hope and belief” that a national health insurance program would be enacted later in 1974.

In less than three months, Gerald Ford became President of the United States when Richard Nixon resigned. He had not mentioned Nixon’s name in his speech at Mount Sinai.

Mount Sinai in the First World War

A detail from a display case showing the dog-tags that belonged to Charles F. Naumberg. He is in the picture to the left.

This summer marks the centennial of the beginning of the First World War, sparked in June 1914 by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

When the United States entered the war in 1917, the U.S. Army called on American hospitals to enlist their doctors and nurses to serve the war effort. Members of the Mount Sinai staff were organized as U.S. Army Base Hospital No. 3 and stationed at Vauclaire, a fourteenth-century monastery in southern France that had been converted to a hospital.

Two of the display cases highlight Mount Sinai’s Base Hospital No. 3. The third case features pages from a scrapbook created by Marion Moxham, RN, a graduate of the Mount Sinai Training School for Nurses. She started at Base Hospital No. 3 and was then transferred to units in Germany. Her scrapbook provides a fascinating look at life in the Army medical services during World War I.

A page from the Moxham scrapbook. Note the memo from the Chief Nurse top left: “Nurses are not allowed to dance outside of their own hospital”.

This exhibit of material from the Mount Sinai Archives demonstrates how the hospital responded to one of the twentieth century’s first major crises. Twenty-five years later, with the outbreak of the Second World War, the government would once again ask The Mount Sinai Hospital to form and support an Army unit.

DSM I, II, III, IV, and 5

The Levy Library now subscribes online to all previous versions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals (DSM) through PsychiatryOnline.  The previous editions are in PDF form, and are made available for reference and archival purposes:

BrowZine Trial

The Levy Library is trialing BrowZine, a great new service that allows you to browse and read many of the library’s full-text scholarly journals, all in a format optimized for your iPad and Android tablet.  Seamlessly access PDFs, create favorite journal lists and save articles.

Get started with the trial in 3 easy steps:

1) From your ipad or Android tablet, go to your app store and search for “BrowZine” and download it for free.

2) Open BrowZine and select Icahn School of Medicine from the list.

3) Enter your network credentials, these will be the same that you use to access library resources from off-campus.

Start browsing and reading your scholarly journals!

The Levy Library is considering a permanent license.  Please send any comments about the BrowZine app to : laura.schimming@mssm.edu

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS)

Massive Open Online Courses, also known as MOOCS, are high-quality online courses on a variety of topics, open to all.  These are available to members of the Mount Sinai community and the public at no cost.   In addition to the traditional course materials such as videos, readings and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for students.

Three of the top MOOCs available include the following:

1.)    The Icahn School of Medicine is participating in the Coursera initiative which is very popular and offers certificates in select programs.  View the Coursera courses offered by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai here.

2.)   Harvard & MIT’s EdX is also a terrific learning resource.

3.)    The KHAN Academy is a very popular initiative and has a finance focus.

If you have any specific questions, please contact John Graves, Director of Instructional Technology.

Women As Blood Donors – 1918

Extract from the minutes of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of The Mount Sinai Hospital, November 1918

With World War I going on and the Influenza Epidemic of 1918 raging, The Mount Sinai Hospital Board of Trustees found it prudent to agree to the Medical Board’s request to allow women to serve as blood donors. This was a transitional period in transfusion medicine when indirect transfusion existed (what we are familiar with today), but when direct transfusion – donor to recipient, lying side by side – was still being used.  Mount Sinai physicians Lester Unger, MD and Richard Lewisohn, MD made contributions to both methods just a few years before this.  But it was Lewisohn’s citrate method allowing for indirect transfusions that won the day and paved the way for the development of modern blood banking.

Mount Sinai Historical Publications Available Online

The Icahn School of Medicine Internet Archive collection page

The Mount Sinai Archives of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is very happy to announce that 65 volumes of Mount Sinai related publications are now available on the Internet Archive (https://archive.org/details/mountsinaiarchives). These volumes represent 111 separate publications across eight discrete titles and total over 18,000 pages. They were scanned through the support of the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO.) The bulk of the collection consists of the Annual Reports of The Mount Sinai Hospital and its predecessor organization (until 1866), the Jews’ Hospital in the City of New York. These Reports date from 1856-1956 with some gaps in the early years. The collection also includes the complete five volume set of The Mount Sinai Hospital Reports, 1898-1906, the Report of The Mount Sinai Training School for Nurses from 1881-1911, and the Rules and Regulations for the Government of The Mount Sinai Hospital of the City of New York from 1899-1919. Two previously published histories of The Mount Sinai Hospital are also being made available: The Story of the First Fifty Years of The Mount Sinai Hospital (Mount Sinai Hospital, 1944) and The First Hundred Years of The Mount Sinai Hospital of New York, 1852-1952 by Joseph Hirsh and Beka Doherty (Random House, 1952).

Taken together, these volumes are a wonderful resource for information on the development of hospitals and healthcare during the 19th and early 20th centuries. As such, they have been added to the Medical Heritage Library, a collaborative project that promotes open access to medical history resources. The Annual Reports also provide insight into the Jewish community of New York City during this time, including names and addresses of the Hospital’s supporters.

Our thanks to METRO for their support of this project. Please let us know if you have any questions or need additional information about these or other Mount Sinai records.