Pioneering Research in Surgical Shock and Cardiovascular Surgery: Vivien Thomas and His Work with Alfred Blalock : an Autobiography

By Vivien T. Thomas | Go to book overview

6

Knowing I had never been in Baltimore and knew no one in the city, Dr. Blalock made inquiries of Miss Baker, who had been secretary to Dr. Dean Lewis and was to be one of his secretaries at Hopkins. Thus he suggested that I write to Fred Watson, who was in charge of the animal facilities of Dr. Curt P. Richter, Professor of Psychobiology. I corresponded with Fred, explaining the situation and my plans to move to Baltimore, and he responded with suggestions and welcome advice concerning the move. He also invited me or, rather, suggested that I stay with him and his family for the two or three days it would take to find an apartment. ( Fred had his own home in the 1000 block of Harford Road, had not been out looking for an apartment and, therefore, was not aware of the housing shortage that would confront me.)

I arrived in Baltimore on June 20, 1941, several days before Dr. Blalock, who had purchased a house in Guilford. I went to see him the morning after he and his family arrived and told him that I was having difficulty finding satisfactory living quarters. Dr. Blalock invited me to come out and stay with them until I could find a suitable place and I accepted the invitation.

The following morning he asked if I had seen Hopkins and suggested that I accompany him to the hospital so that he could show me around. Having lived in Baltimore during his medical school years, he knew the city well. On the way to the hospital, he pointed out the "Hopkins Dome" from a distance, Harford Road where The Alameda enters Clifton Park as Saint Lo Drive. With the Dome dominating the East Baltimore skyline, the view was very impressive. I had pictured Johns Hopkins as being situated on a beautiful, spacious, tree-lined campus like those of Vanderbilt and Meharry. When we arrived, I was surprised at the close proximity of the buildings within the huge complex and by the Hospital and School of Medicine being so tightly surrounded by row houses. I was, however, very favorably impressed by the appearance of the front of the hospital on Broadway (see fig. 9). Its two curved stone stairways forming an inverted letter U met just across an oval driveway passing at the main entrance. On this landing stood a sundial on a stone pedestal. The stairs were lined on each side with flowers which at that time of year were in full bloom.

Entering under the Dome, my attention was immediately caught by the impressive marble statue of Christ with outstretched hands which

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Pioneering Research in Surgical Shock and Cardiovascular Surgery: Vivien Thomas and His Work with Alfred Blalock : an Autobiography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Prologue xv
  • Part One - The Vanderbilt Years 1
  • 2 9
  • 3 20
  • 4 29
  • 5 41
  • Part Two - The Hopkins Years 51
  • 6 53
  • 7 70
  • 8 80
  • 9 91
  • 10 105
  • 11 114
  • 12 130
  • 13 146
  • 14 156
  • 15 174
  • 16 184
  • 17 194
  • 18 207
  • Part Three - Recognition 217
  • 19 219
  • 20 225
  • References 233
  • Name Index 239
  • Subject Index 243
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