Connecticut Medicine

Mar 2015

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connecticut medicine, march 2015 182 fessor of Neurology. In addition to his medical career, he founded a historical library at the Yale Medical Library, which was named for him. In recent years, a museum there, honoring his memory, was developed under the leadership of Dennis Spencer. cushing celebrated his 70 th birthday in April 1939 at the New Haven Lawn club. e first congratulatory telegram read on that occasion came from the White House, signed by FDR, his in-law. Sadly, cushing died of a heart attack in October of that year. e autopsy revealed an incidental colloid cyst of the third ventricle, one of his surgical interests. Louise Eisenhardt, a cushing secretary and neuropathologist, became the first editor of the Journal of Neurosurgery in New Haven, starting a Yale tradition. William German chaired the section of neurosurgery until the arrival of William F. collins from Richmond, Virginia. Born in New Haven in 1924, collins, a physician's son, attended secondary school at choate, and graduated from the Yale University School of Medicine. Together with Kerr and others who eventually pioneered the field across the country, he trained at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis under Drs. Ernest Sachs, Sr. and Henry Schwartz. 3 collins, a giant in academic neurosurgery, welcomed me to the clinical faculty at Yale. Interaction with neuroscientists (John Fulton, Jose Delgado) as well as with physicians involved in neurology, radiology, pathology, anesthesiology, and psychiatry, has been beneficial to neurosurgery at Yale. After collins stepped down as chief of the section of neurosurgery and became the chair of the department of surgery, Dennis Spencer was appointed as the new chief and eventually as the chair of a newly established department of neurosur- gery. Joseph Piepmeier took over surgery on brain tumors and now enjoys well-deserved world fame as an oncologic neurosurgeon using the facilities of the recently inaugurated Smilow cancer center. charles Duncan became the pediatric neurosurgeon, following in the footsteps of Joan Venes, a pioneer female neurosurgeon. Yale-trained Murat Gunel, with his background in molecular biology in addition to neurosurgery, is the new chair. Ketan Bulsara leads interventional endovas- cular neurosurgery and skull-based microsurgery, and charles Greer is the Vice-chair for Research. Bright new faculty, many trained at Yale, add depth and width to the department and to the training program at Yale. Our neurosurgical group in Bridge- port included, among others, Henry Yu, a Bronson Ray disciple at the New York Hospital who died at the age of 42 in 1985; Michael Dogali, trained at the MNI and at Duke, who moved to New York and then to california; carl Dila, former staff at the MNI, who established himself in the lower Fairfield county; Michael Opalak, who interned at Bridgeport Hospital and then trained at the University of california, Davis; and Pat Mastroianni, a Bridgeport native who trained at Uconn in Hartford. Opalak and Mastroianni continue in active neurosurgical practice in Bridgeport. In the past few years I have become interested in the history of the neurosciences, and through serendipity I unveiled a state secret in Argentina, discovering that Eva PerĂ³n, "Evita" underwent a prefrontal lobotomy before her death in 1952. e operation was performed by James L. Poppen from Boston, and this type of procedure and other findings suggest the possibility of a political conspiracy. 4 e research, performed together with a team of collabora- tors, has garnered worldwide attention. Seasons change and the pages of the calendar turn. Yale University's neuroscience program continues to bloom and I pride myself on my association with it. I follow new developments and advances with great awe. e same ap- plies to the science and art of medicine and neurological surgery, always foremost in my mind. I realize I have been just one link in a long chain. REFERENCES 1. Apuzzo M. Ein Heldenleben: a life in neurosurgery. World Neurosurgery. 2001;76 (6):508-15. 2. Twain M. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. 1889. 3. Spencer DD. William F. collins: an obituary. J.Neurosurgery. 2009;111(5): 3085. 4. Nijensohn DE, Savastano LE, Kaplan AD, Laws ER Jr. Prefrontal lobotomy in the last months of the illness of va Peron. World Neurosurgery. 2012:77(3-4): 583-590. Meeting of the Connecticut State Neurosurgical Society, Fairfield, 2000: (left to right) Drs. Gary Bloomgarden, Lycurgus Davey, William Collins, Daniel Nijensohn, and Isaac Goodrich.

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