The Tuberculosis Unit
On January 25, 1926, under the direction of Dr. George Sherman, a fifty-bed unit was opened on the second floor of the Convalescent Hospital for the medical treatment of tuberculosis. This was the first time in the history of the University Hospital that separate beds had been set aside for this specific purpose, although in 1902 George Dock, who was then Professor of Medicine, had written an article urging that a special hospital for this purpose be constructed. While this arrangement served its purpose well as a beginning, it was soon appreciated that the space for beds, offices, X-ray facilities, and laboratories, was inadequate. In order to remedy this situation the legislature of Michigan appropriated $250,000 to add two floors to the University Hospital for the care of patients with pulmonary tuberculosis. They were first occupied by patients on July 21, 1931. Accommodations are provided for ninety-eight patients in six single rooms, ten two-bed rooms, and eighteen four-bed rooms. There are ample workrooms for examinations, treatments, laboratory examinations, including fluoroscopy, and a room for the demonstration of patients and X rays to students.
The unit is a part of the University Hospital and Medical School. A medical staff is maintained by the Department of Internal Medicine, through which are rotated all of the instructors and interns. Page 990Dr. John B. Barnwell has headed the medical staff since 1928. In this way the Hospital is sending out into practice in the state of Michigan, year after year, physicians who are especially trained in all of the modern phases of the treatment of tuberculosis. The Department of Surgery maintains a division of chest surgery under the leadership of Dr. John Alexander, who is directly responsible for the tuberculosis patients who are admitted primarily for surgical measures.
Instruction of medical students in regard to tuberculosis is carried out in the last three years of their course. In the second year, one or more groups are giving instruction in physical diagnosis. In the third year, groups may elect work in tuberculosis. All fourth-year students pass through the unit in small groups for discussion of diagnosis and treatment.