Welcome to the Annual Meeting of the Fellows and thank you all for your support of the Boston
Roz Vogel, the BML administrator, has been on leave since August. Our best wishes for her
speedy and complete recovery. Kim Ripley has been working in her place time and has done an
excellent job of pulling together things at this particularly busy time for the BML. Thanks to
Kim Ripley, Katherine Flannery and Elizabeth Bueso of the Countway staff who have assisted in
the transition. A serious handicap has been and continues to be the lack of knowledge among
other Countway staff of Roz's work, records, other material and information, and access to these.
Thanks to our Director, Dr. Kohane; Countway Director of Access and Public Services, David
Osterbur; HMS Dean for Medical Education, Jules Dienstag; and Countway Director of
Administration, Eric Perakslis.
It is a pleasure to report that under our Strategic Priority Goal #3 (Appendix 1) of "Preservation
and Celebration of History of Medicine," we continue to make progress in the objectives of
exhibits and didactic programs, acquisitions, scholarship through fellowship and digitization.
The efforts of the CHOM (Center for the History of Medicine) staff under the able leadership of
its Director, Dr. Scott Podolsky are much appreciated. We have scope to expand further
especially the last item and much needed preservation and restoration.
Countway Library Service Challenges
The same cannot be said of goals # 1 & 2 in which we have much more to go because there has
been no progress in the Enabling Goals listed under # D (Appendix 1). Your leadership's tireless
efforts to engage the Director of the Countway Library, Dr. Isaac Kohane, over the last 9 years
have met with little success. For over a year there has been no Associate Dean level leadership
or accountability. Your Board authorized and directed your President to seek the help of HMS
(Harvard Medical School) Dean Flier and, as necessary, Harvard's Vice President for the
Harvard Library, Sarah Thomas, to rectify the neglect of library services in general and
particularly to the BML constituency and advance the other 3 goals. An April 17, 2014 request
to meet with Dean Flier finally resulted in his delegation of this responsibility to the Dean for
Medical Education, Jules Dienstag, and with Dr. Dienstag in July and September and
also the subject being on the agenda of the JLC (Joint Library Committee) at its September 15,
2014 meeting. Dr. Dienstag, in efforts to rectify this, suggests a separate BML Librarian as a
solution. The 2 librarian setup of the past failed leading to the arrangement of a single librarian
responsible and accountable to both Harvard and the BML.
Dr. Dienstag indicates that HMS is in the process of creating a Department of Bioinformatics
into which the CBMI (Center for Biomedical Informatics) will transform under the leadership of
Dr. Kohane and that Dr.Kohane is even more disengaged from the library functions of the
Countway. He suggests that the BML should wait till this transformation is complete which he
expects will be a protracted process as there are obstacles and resistance. Your leadership has
communicated with clarity that the BML (and in general, library services at the Countway)
cannot and should not await this transformation since it has been neglected even more since Dr.
Kohane's leadership started in 2005 despite verbal assurances from Drs. Kohane and Dienstag to
the contrary in response to the BML's written concern precisely about this at the time of
selection of Dr. Kohane. The BML had insisted, to no avail, on the Countway being led by a
librarian and for Dr. Kohane to lead the Bioinformatics effort as a component of the library.
Sarah Thomas, Harvard Vice President for the Harvard Library, met with the BML Board at its
meeting on March 6, 2014 and with the Joint Library Committee on March 20, 2014. We have
over time reemphasized to all concerned, including to the Harvard Vice President, Sarah
Thomas, at these meetings the unique opportunity that the Countway presents as a partnership
between an academic medical center library and a library serving practicing physicians for
Harvard leadership in library service in general and for the latter needs in particular.
The MMS (Massachusetts Medical Society), BML's partner which appoints 1/2 of its Trustees,
has been independently concerned about the lack of Countway library service to BML
constituents and particularly to member of the MMS. The MMS leadership has approached the
BML looking for Countway accountability and your leadership has met and had serious
discussions with MMS elected and staff leadership.
Dr. Dienstag attended the BML Executive Committee's meeting of October 7, 2014 and
conceded that the changes created by HMS a decade ago which he implemented have
disadvantaged the BML. There is need for the Countway to include the BML and that Harvard
has been distracted by exploring the creation of a Bioinformatics Department that they haven't
spent much time on the library aspect of Countway. He reaffirmed that he is committed to
rectifying this neglect of the BML and will achieve this.
Dr. Dienstag has indicated in a recent e-mail "At the very least, I do have a commitment from the
administration to make the relation with BML work" and "Please be assured that they [HMS
Leadership] understand how the BML had been treated and that they are committed to a strong,
mutually respectful, effective plan that will meet your needs."
We have since communicated by e-mail to Dr. Dienstag the steps necessary to start rectifying the
neglect of the BML (Appendix 2) and he has acknowledged and will work with the HMS
We await a meeting with him shortly and have again offered to meet Dean Flyer and Vice
President Sarah Thomas with him.
BML services as a resource for lifelong learning
The BML came into being to help physician lifelong learning. One of our main priorities
continues to be a search as to how a medical library such as ours focused on the practicing
physician may be of service in today's changing world. Seminal research, exploration and
piloting of services are needed but as noted above there has been serious neglect.
This is not just a BML goal; it needs to be a joint mission of both the BML and HMS. After all,
the BML's primary mission is not too far from Harvard Medical School's mission. If the goal of medical education is ultimately the betterment of the health of the public and treatment of suffering, what good would it do to create new knowledge from research and educate students and others within the walls of the institution and ignore their continued library service for their learning needs once they step outside those walls in order to serve those very needs of the community throughout their professional career? Given the standing and intellectual resources of the two partner institutions;
mutuality of the goals; and the importance to our end constituency, society at large especially in
these times of challenges and momentous advances; the Countway is most well equipped and
situated to lead in this field of library services for lifelong learning by physicians in practice. The BML's
partnership with the MMS and its publication, the New England Journal of Medicine, the other
three medical schools of Massachusetts, the Boston Public Library etc. lends a very powerful
The BML goal of "Preservation and Celebration of History of Medicine"
has continued to be advanced under the leadership of Dr. Scott Podolsky, Director of the Center
for the History of Medicine (CHOM). Efforts this year include:
Boston Medical Library's Francis A. Countway Library Fellowship in the History of
Medicine funded by BML's Abel Lawrence Peirson fund:
The BML funded six 2014 Countway Fellows (out of 16 applicants), for researching CHOM
material (Appendix 3). A complete list of Fellows of all years is available at:
BML funded oral history projects include: 1. selected leaders in medicine, 2. the Boston
Strong project recording the history of the medical efforts following the Boston Marathon
Bombing (http://collections.countway.harvard.edu/onview/items/show/13060), 3. the oral history
of the BML to commence with Dr. Grant Rodkey as the subject.
The Medical Heritage Library (MHL), (established in spring 2010, is a digital collaborative
including the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Columbia, Countway, Johns Hopkins, New
York Public Library, the National Library of Medicine and others. The BML has contributed a large
amount of its collection for digitization. http://www.medicalheritage.org/about/
While the BML collection preservation and restoration is ongoing, it needs much funding
to do justice. Among the 2014 rare books acquisitions are: an early French work on smallpox,
Antoine Sidobre's Tractatus de variolis et morbillis (Lyons, 1699); (1741) Roman edition of
Antonio Pacchioni's Opera, discussing the anatomy of the brain and the dura mater; Alexander
Monro's discussion of cerebrospinal fluid, Observations on hydrocephalus chronicus
(Edinburgh, 1803); a rare English translation of a French practical work on hygiene and
pharmacology, printed for a Catholic missionary in India, C. Desaint's Hand book of medicine
(Bangalore, 1884); an 1821 New England imprint of the Works of Aristotle; the first treatise on
electro-puncture, the Memoires sur l'electropuncture (Paris, 1825) by Jean-Baptiste Sarlandiere;
a third London edition of Southworth Smith's pamphlet on the promotion of dissection laws Use
of the dead to the living (1832).
-- Our gratitude to Dr. Adam Moore, former BML Trustee for many years, who has painstakingly
continued to present the "BML" exhibits from his collection on the history of medicine at the
3MMS offices in Waltham. He changes the exhibit frequently to celebrate and enhance
environmental events and themes (Appendix 4).
The 38 th Annual Joseph E. Garland Memorial Lecture on October 23, 2013 was delivered by
Lawrence Altman, MD, Medical Journalist/Columnist, The New York Times; and Clinical
Professor of Medicine, New York University, on "Adventures at the Intersection of Medical
Journalism & Public Health" to a packed audience and was followed by engaging questions
The 10 th J. Worth Estes, MD History Of Medicine Lecture was held on May 28th, 2014
following a touching personal vignette of Dr. Estes by his student and later colleague Carol T.
Walsh PhD to a very attentive audience. David S. Jones, MD, PhD, A. Bernard Ackerman
Professor of the Culture of Medicine, Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine,
Harvard University, spoke on "Broken Hearts: The Tangled History of Cardiac Care." The
talk and the questions and answers that followed explored the validity of many common
assumptions in our treatment paradigms through a historic perspective.
The 39 th Annual Joseph E. Garland Memorial Lecture will present two internationally
distinguished speakers addressing
"21st Century War: the Continuum of Pain and Other Sequelae."
Chester 'Trip' Buckenmaier III, MD, COL, MC, USA, Program Director, Defense and
Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management (DVCIPM.org), Associate Professor
Anesthesiology, USUHS '92, Co-Editor Acute Pain Medicine section, Pain Medicine, Editor-in-
Chief, U.S. Medicine
Rollin M. Gallagher, MD, MPH, National Program Director for Pain Management
Veterans Health Administration, Co-Chair, Pain Management Work Group, VA-DoD Health
Executive Council, Co-Chair, Pain Medicine Specialty Team Work Group, Patient Care
Services, Editor-in-Chief, PAIN MEDICINE, Official Journal of the American Academy of Pain
Medicine, Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australia New Zealand College of Anesthetists, and
the International Spine Intervention Society
S. Jay Jayasankar, MD
October 30, 2014
Boston Medical Library Strategic Plan Priority Objectives
(Adopted by the Board on December 9, 2004
Progress Reviewed and reaffirmed February 16, 2012)
- Objectives under Goal #1: Dissemination of Knowledge
- Remote access
- Offer training programs for physicians in electronic access and knowledge management
- Objectives under Goal #2: Promotion of Medical Education
- Explore ways to increase awareness/access to learning programs for practicing physicians to maintain their lifelong professional development
- Objectives under Goal #3: Preservation and Celebration of History of Medicine
- Cataloguing and preservation of and newer means of access to BML collection - e.g. digitization
- Programs with/without exhibits:
- Didactic/ Interactive
- Exhibits- on site, off site
- Publication of articles based on collection, periodically in journals
- Occasional publication of outstanding books
- Increase opportunities for promoting scholarship
- Objectives under Enabling Goals -Infrastructure to support BML Goals and Objectives
- BML is true partner in developing plans for the Coutnway
- Responsiveness and leadership of Countway staff for BML needs, programs and services
- Staff and organizational structure to implement programs
- Staff and structure to enable grant/proposal writing and external partnership development
“To be a Library for the dissemination of medical knowledge, the promotion of medical education and scholarship, and the preservation and celebration of medical history, and thereby to advance the quality of health and healthcare of the people.”
RESTORING COUNTWAY LIBRARY FUNCTION
The BML expects full compliance with the Agreement between the President and Fellows of
Harvard College and the BML establishing the Countway Library, including:
Appoint a new Countway Librarian accountable to both Harvard and the BML.
Re-establish the decision making role of the JLC including oversight of Countway
Library budget, space, storage, services and policies.
Provide dedicated, accountable staff and other Countway resources to work on:
access and reference services for practicing physicians and other BML constituency
research and grant applications to learn and pilot how to do those things better.
Develop Countway Library user service staff culture that would serve Harvard and BML
constituents equally attentively and well.
Review the condition and storage of historical collections and correct any deficiencies.
2014-2015 Recipients of the Boston Medical Library’s Francis A. Countway Library Fellowship in the History of Medicine funded by BML’s Abel Lawrence Peirson fund:
Sare Aricanli (Princeton University)
"Reconsidering Imperial Medicine in China"
Jameson Garland (Uppsala Universitet)
"Sex Assignment and Gender Surgery in Young Children"
Ksenia O. Gorbenko (University of Pennsylvania)
"Sterilization and Efficiency in the Hospital Setting"
Christina J. Hodge (Peabody Museum, Harvard University)
"Anatomical Instruction, ca. 1800-1850: Contextualizing the Holden Chapel Archaeological
Catherine Newman Howe (Williams College)
"The Rodin of Obstetrics: Robert Latou Dickinson and the Fine Art of Medicine"
David Merritt Johns (Columbia University)
"The Salt Hypothesis: Contested Science and the Making of a Strategy for Prevention"
2013-2014 Recipients of the Boston Medical Library’s Francis A. Countway Library Fellowship in the History of Medicine funded by BML’s Abel Lawrence Peirson fund:
Vanessa Burrows (City University of New York)
"The Medicalization of Stress: Hans Selye and the Postwar Medical Marketplace"
Erin R. Corrales-Diaz (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
"Remembering the Veteran: Disability, Trauma, and the American Civil War, 1861-1915"
Sean P. Phillips (University of Notre Dame)
"Pox in the Pulpit: the Catholic Church and Smallpox in France, 1724-1832"
James Poskett (Trinity College, University of Cambridge)
"Bumps beyond Borders: a Global History of Phrenology, 1820-1858"
Nicolas Rasmussen (University of New South Wales)
"Jean Mayer and the Cold War Obesity Crisis"
Thibaut Serviant-Fine (Universite Claude Bernard)
"Drugs and Tools: Antimetabolites in the Early History of Cancer Chemotherapy, 1940-1960"
List of current and previous years' Fellows of the Boston Medical Library's Francis A.
Countway Library Fellowship in the History of Medicine funded by BML's Abel Lawrence
Peirson fund may be found at:
The Adam Moore BML exhibits which have appeared in the three 46x22” MMS cases at the Massachusetts Medical Society Offices in Waltham:
02 Jun 04 – 31 Oct 04: MEDICAL BOTANY
in support of MMS' medicinal garden
01 Nov 04 – 05 Dec 04: WHAT ON EARTH
introducing the specialty-based series of exhibits
05 Dec 04 – 05 Jan 05: THE HEART OF IT ALL
cardiology: pulse & stethoscopes, auscultation
05 Jan 05 – 15 Feb 05: MEDICAL MINERALS
pharmacology & materia medica
15 Feb 05 – 19 Mar 05 : MICROSCOPY
laboratory & medical education
19 Mar 05 – 28 Apr 05: SMALLPOX & VACCINATION
infectious disease & public health
28 Apr 05 – 08 Jun 05: OPHTHALMOSCOPY
The instrument’s development and forms
08 Jun 05 – 26 Jun 05: CRIMEAN
26 Jun 05 – 09 Aug 05: TUBERCULOSIS
recent case in a medical student
09 Aug 05 – 27 Sep 05: PHYSICIAN WRITERS (Summer Reading)
27 Sep 05 – 13 Nov 05: MANIKINS
examples from three centuries
13 Nov 05 – 08 Jan 06: CLINICAL THERMOMETRY
08 Jan 06 – 08 Mar 06: MEDICAL PHILATELY
postage rate increase effective 8 Jan 06
08 Mar 06 – 20 Apr 06: DOCumentation
It's Not Just a Paper Chase: Making Case for Documentation March 29, 8-12 MMS Hq
20 Apr 06 – 23 Jun 06: PLEASE PASS THE KNIFE
23 Jun 06 – 02 Aug 06: SPECTROSCOPY
02 Aug 06 – 24 Oct 06: STITCH IN TIME (sutures & ligatures)
24 Oct 06 – 04 Jan 07: HAPPY 225th!
MMS pubs in conjunction with loans for preparation of a commemorative video
04 Jan 07 – 15 Mar 07: COLORBLINDNESS
15 Mar 07 – 30 Apr 07: JUST IMAGING !
Imaging and Treatment Strategies in Primary Care Medicine, April 6,MMS Hq all day
Jointly sponsored by Tufts School of Med., St. Elizabeth’s, & Tufts Health Care Institute
30 Apr 07 – 30 Jul 07: HERBALS
In support of MMS' medicinal garden
30 Jul 07 – 16 Oct 07: DOCTOR EXPLORERS
16 Oct 07 – 22 Jan 08: MAPPING MEDICINE
22 Jan 08 – 13 Mar 08: RAZOR’S EDGE TO THE CUTTING EDGE
Related to Careers event in early February at MMS Hq
13 Mar 08 – 20 May 08: DOCTOR AT SEA
20 May 08 – 18 Sep 08: MMS HORTUS MEDICUS’ ORIGINS
In support of MMS' medicinal garden
18 Sep 08 – 19 Nov 08: ELEGANT TOOLS
19 Nov 08 – 30 Mar 09: TAKE YOUR MEDICINE
30 Mar 09 – 28 May 09: CALL AN AMBULANCE
Related to MMS' Hq 3/31 “Disaster & Primary Care: how to protect pts & practice”
28 May 09 – 20 Aug 09: PHYSICIENNES – I
Related to MMS' Hq program, 24 June, on early women members of the Society
28 Aug 09 – 22 Nov 09: PHYSICIENNES - II
Related to second MMS' Hq program, 25 Sep 09, on early women members of the Society
22 Nov 09 – 07 Jan 10: EPONYMOUS
17 Jan 10 – 17 July 10: WHAT’S BUGGING YOU!
17 July 10 – 12 Nov10: BALLOONS: BOSTON AND BEYOND
12 Nov 10 – 07 Dec 11: FINGERPRINTS
07 Dec 11 – 12 Apr 12: TONSIL TIME
15 Apr 12 - 09 Oct 12: NEJM 200th Anniversary Exhibits
15 Apr 13 -- 15 Oct 13: COMM. AVE.
1015 Oct 13 - Current: CATS & KITS
How to identify old medical impedimenta