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Psychiatry at Yale in the Academic Year of 1925-26

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PSYCHIATRY AT YALE IN THE ACADEMIC YEAR OF 1925-26 ARTHUR H. RUGGLES In the summer of 1925, a telephone call from the Dean of the Yale Medical School came to me asking for an opportunity to talk with me. I was on vacation at the time but the forceful Dean would take no postponement. We made an appointment to meet, in the near by city of Fall River, a few days later. At exactly the appointed hour, a quick-moving, forceful figure, in the summer costume of 1925, namely, linen plus-four's, appeared. He told me that he had purposely let the Department of Psychiatry at Yale die a natural death. Now he wanted to rebuild it as he had been doing with the whole Medical School for the previous few years. I think it is worthy of note that when Dean Winternitz went to the Yale Medical School, it was almost a sinking ship, and after some deliberation, instead of writing a long, detailed account of what he wanted to do in rebuilding, he sat down and with his own pen drew a cartoon of a sinking ship (the Yale Medical School), and sent it to one of America's great foundations. This unusual and dramatic appeal impressed them and a thorough study was soon made and the help of the Rockefeller Foundation was promised. The Dean stated that he wanted me to come and help in rebuilding the Department. A less dynamic and enthusiastic salesman never could have interested me, as I already had two important professional assignments. The Dean's forceful, constructive, and enthusiastic picture of what he wanted to do and how he thought it might be done appealed to me at once, and before that interview was over I had promised to ask for a year's leave of absence to do what I could in the plan. With the beginning of the academic term in September, 1925, I went to New Haven, began to give a few lectures to the students, and to look around for clinical material for teaching purposes. For several months that material had to be drawn from the wards and Out-Patient Department of the New Haven Hospital, and to me it was surprising

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