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Professor centers in on OSU Med Center history

If you are going to have a heart attack, Columbus would be the place to have it.

Dr. George W. Paulson, professor emeritus at Ohio State’s college of medicine and founding chair in the neurology department, said that for more than 150 years, the campus hospital has been making history.

At the 2011 Annual James V. Warren Memorial Lecture, “The Pursuit of Excellence at the OSUMC: How Problems Became Progress,” Paulson lectured about his new book that details the history of the medical center since its inception in 1834.

“We’re an evolution, a growth, a community center, a research center,” said Paulson.

During the lecture lasting about an hour, Paulson said the first medical school came to Columbus after the Willoughby Medical College in Willoughby, Ohio, closed due to insufficient resources. Shortly after relocating to Columbus, Willoughby Medical College merged with OSU.

Equiped with a medical college, OSU then needed a hospital in which students could carry out their practice.

Lynne Starling donated money in 1847, which made bringing a hospital to campus possible.

“President (William Oxley) Thompson, probably the most fantastic president this university has ever had, got the hospital on campus,” Paulson said.

The Medical Heritage Center, founded in 1997, part of the health sciences library and collects, preserves and promotes the health sciences history, said Judith Weiner, the assistant director for special collections. Paulson is a resident scholar at The Medical Heritage Center.

Dr. Steven Gabbe, Medical Center CEO, said he admires Paulson’s “efforts to protect his history, our history and his effort to tell it again and again.”

Fifty percent of the total budget of the campus goes to the Medical Center, Paulson said.

“If we measure by growth, the place has done well and continues to do well,” Paulson said.

Thien Nguyen, a third-year in pharmaceutical science, who has begun studying for the Medical College Admission Test, volunteers at the ASU Center.

Ngyuen said he is applying for medical school next spring at OSU and other Ohio schools.

“I love the setting (of the Ohio State Hospital),” said Nguyen. “It’s pretty sweet.”


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