Medical Heroes and Medical Neros
A look at those men and women who throughout history, bravely defied the existing wisdom of their day in an effort to either advance science, improve health, or just get rich. Ignaz Semmelweis questioned the higher mortality rates of pregnant women delivered by professors coming from autopsies, compared to midwives, and was promptly thrown off the medical staff for insisting that they wash their hands before going in to deliver a baby. Now he is known as the Father of Hand Hygiene which is the single most important way to prevent infections today. In the 1920’s charlatan doctor John Brinkley implanted goat testicles in men who wanted to feel more virile. As a master salesman who used radio to advertise, he became extremely wealthy preying on thousands of insecure men, but died a pauper from the many lawsuits that ensued from unsatisfied customers. In 1982 when Dr Barry Marshall suggested that peptic ulcers were caused by bacteria, no one in the medical establishment believed him, and he had to infect himself with the agent to prove it. Now ulcers are routinely treated with antibiotics and he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery in 2005. Our lives have certainly been influenced by these creative pioneers and shameless quacks, sometimes for the better and sometimes not.
David W. Hines '76 MD, FACP graduated from Lawrence wishing to pursue a career in medicine. Achieving only a B average, he decided to bypass the rigorous admission requirements of the American Medical system and enrolled in the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara in 1977. After a brief tour in the minor leagues, he transferred to Rush Medical School in Chicago for the last two years of medical school and where he stayed for residency and fellowship. In 1987 at the age of 33 he got his first job as an Infectious Disease Consultant. He married Nancy Gazzola, also LU '76 and they live in Oak Park Illinois. They have three children, Jenny, Giulia and Sam, none of whom are in the medical field.