Monday, November 30, 2009
The archive committee
I went to the Medical Archive Committee the other day. We meet a couple of times a year. The committee is comprised of the old and the very old. We have a nice lunch supplied by the Lotus City Medical Association and discuss historical matters. Interest in history seems confined, at the moment, to those of us who are history. Our main man, Stewart, has devoted much of his time to what is now, finally, a National Historic Site. This is the first free standing operating room in the Pacific Northwest, built in 1896. That is, all the area north of San Francisco. This little, 24 foot octagonal building, was approved for use, once built, by Lord Lister when he visited Lotus City and it was supplied with a carbolic acid gas spray machine of Lister's design. The significance of free standing was the separation from the hospital wards which fitted with the then, new concept, of germ avoidance. Despite the significance of such a site it is difficult to generate much interest in younger physicians who are dealing with today's realities, and impossible to interest the hospital bureaucrats for whom the bottom line is king. This small building now sits in a site surrounded by a massively reconstructed hospital and is a lttle treasure that needs restoration and preservation.What we require is dynamic younger physicians, or individuals with more Mojo than Elderly Eclectic Gentlemen can muster, to raise money ! Preservation of our history,whether it may be Medicine or any other endeavor, helps us to see ourselves as part of a long chronological line of participants in a Way of Life, in continuity with our past and our future.