“A word to the wise is sufficient.”
Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1876 and the money given to establish it was by Johns Hopkins. Hopkins made his money in the railroad business and retired at the age of fifty-two. His first name was the last name of his paternal great grandmother Margaret Johns. The first president of Johns Hopkins was Daniel Coit Gilman. In time a very talented team of physicians was assembled for the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, which was established in 1893. Four of the physicians became known as the “Big Four,” pathologist William Welch, surgeon William Halsted, internist William Osler, and gynecologist Howard Kelly. Each of the doctors, in his own way, had a profound and lasting influence on American medical education and research.
Hugh Hampton Young was given a surgical resident spot in 1986 by virtue of another resident leaving. He had no particular interest in urology and in fact was troubled that he was unnoticed by the head of surgery Halsted. Just as he had gotten into the residency program fortuitously, so too, did he begin his illustrious career in urology at Johns Hopkins.
“One day in October, 1897, I was walking rapidly down the long corridor of the hospital. As I turned the corner, I ran into Dr. Halsted with great force and almost knocked him down. I caught him just before he hit the floor and began to apologize profusely. Dr. Halsted, still out of breath, said: ‘Don’t apologize, Young. I was looking for you, to tell you we want you to take charge of the Department of Genito-Urinary Surgery.’ I thanked him and said: ‘This is a great surprise. I know nothing about genitourinary surgery. Whereupon Dr. Halsted replied, ‘Welch and I said you didn’t know anything about it, but we believe you could learn.”- Hugh Hampton Young
Young performed the first perineal prostatectomy in 1904, was the innovator of many the procedures we use today, and is considered, “The father of modern urology.”
Considering how Young got his appointment from Halsted, he may have been the first practical example of, “See one, do one, teach one.”