Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this unique book provides a comprehensive history of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) of the U.S. Army medical department, with a record of the first 40 years of this important institution. The little-known manuscript, called “Borden’s Dream” after the surgeon whose concept it was to build this institution, started out as a collection of newspaper clippings and historical photographs by the hospital’s first librarian, Mary E Schick. Intending to the use the collection as the basis for an institutional history, Schick continued to file materials but never found time to tackle the writing for the project. Instead, in 1943 she urged a younger member of the staff, Mary Standlee, to write the story as an informal narrative history. The story was finished in 1951, but Schick died shortly before the first draft was typed and never saw the finished product. It was deposited in the post library as a permanent documentary record. Except for a copy donated to the author’s alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin, and a few photocopied volumes distributed to military medical libraries, the book has never been made available to the public. It is known only to a few researchers as a source of historical information about WRAMC.
Borden’s Dream represents the culmination of years of work by Mary Standlee. It includes research, interviews, and interpretation by the author that provide insight into lesser known events in the history of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Although significant time has passed between completion of the manuscript and its publication, many of the situations, interactions, and reactions revealed within translate as familiar scenarios—lessons learned—still applicable today. Readers need to keep in mind that the manuscript content is original and unedited. In so noting, reflection on some of the contents may uncover circumstances that in their time went unremedied. No offense is intended by publishing this manuscript as originally written; rather, it is in keeping with the author’s comment of more than fifty years ago that the book represents a “period piece” at the end of an era.
We hope that this book will help place the mission of this great hospital in the context of 100 years of honored service, as well as in a larger tradition of the Army medicine that dates to the founding days of the Republic.
Chapter I – A HALF CENTURY BEFORE * Forecast For the Future * Politics or Progress * A Skirmish Is Called A Battle * Chapter II – SCHOOLING FOR THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT (1860-1901) * The Army Medical School * A Prod to Scientific Awakening * Chapter III – THE INTERMEDIATE HOST (1899-1902) * Itinerant Scientist * Setting the Stage for Martyrdom * Case History * Posthumous Recognition * Chapter IV – IN DEFENSE OF A DREAM (1903-1905) * The Proposal * The Lively Dreamer * With Pen and Scalpel * Chapter V – PROFESSIONAL TRAINING FOR MEDICAL PERSONNEL (1906-1912) * The Occupation * How Times Have Changed! * Enter: The Women! * On Seventh Street South * Subjoining the School and Hospital * Chapter VI – NORMAL GROWTH (1913-1916) * “The Old Soldier” * Business as Usual * Additions and Subtractions * “Go West, Young Man” * The Academic Emphasis * Evidence of Changes to Come * Chapter VII – THE WAR YEARS (1917-1918) * The Line of Succession * Expanding the Bed Capacity * Organization * New Functions * Nursing * Collateral Activities * Chapter VIII – THE GARDENER (1919-1922) * “Noisy Jim” * The Dominant Types * Within These Walls * Catastrophe * The Calendar Changes * Other Changes * The School Program * 1921 * 1922 * Chapter IX – THE ARMY MEDICAL CENTER (1923-1925) * Some Matters of Opinion * Professional Pageant * A Milestone of Progress * Exit a Dreamer * The Little Red School House * Chapter X – THE PRIDE OF THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT (1926-1929)