Necessity is the mother of invention: William Stewart Halsted’s addiction and its influence on the development of residency training in North America

Necessity is the mother of invention: William Stewart Halsted’s addiction and its influence on the development of residency training in North America

Can J Surg 2020;63(1):E13-E18 | PDF | Appendix

James R. Wright Jr., MD, PhD; Norman S. Schachar, MD

Summary

William Stewart Halsted developed a novel residency training program at Johns Hopkins Hospital that, with some modifications, became the model for surgical and medical residency training in North America. While performing anesthesia research early in his career, Halsted became addicted to cocaine and morphine. This paper dissects how his innovative multi-tier residency program helped him hide his addiction while simultaneously providing outstanding patient care and academic training.


Accepted May 21, 2019

Acknowledgements: The authors thank Charlotte Monroe, Thomas Kryton, BFA, the University of Calgary Interlibrary Loan Service, and Kristin Rodgers, MLIS, Collections Curator, The Ohio State University Medical Heritage Center, Columbus, OH.

Affiliations: From the Departments of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Paediatrics, and Surgery, University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine, Calgary, Alta. (Wright, Schachar).

Funding: J.R. Wright Jr. was scholar-in-residence at The Ohio State University Medical Heritage Center, Columbus, OH.

Competing interests: None declared.

Contributors: Both authors contributed substantially to the conception, writing and revision of this article and approved the final version for publication.

DOI: 10.1503/cjs.003319

Correspondence to: J.R. Wright Jr, Departments of Pathology & Laboratory, Medicine and Paediatrics, University of Calgary, Alberta Children’s Hospital, 28 Oki Drive NW, Calgary AB T3B 6A8, jim.wright@cls.ab.ca