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David Wendel Yandell

David Wendel Yandell: Physician of Old Louisville

Copyright Date: 1978
Edition: 1
Pages: 134
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  • Book Info
    David Wendel Yandell
    Book Description:

    David Wendel Yandell was the most distinguished physician of a family noted for its contributions to the medical profession over a period of generations. Like his father before him, Yandell taught for many years at the Medical Department of the University of Louisville.

    His years as a Confederate surgeon impressed upon him the horrifying consequences of the inadequate preparation of most physicians. Concerned especially about the need for practical training, Yandell waged a twenty-year campaign to expand clinic facilities and introduce intern programs at his own school and across the nation. He also fought for higher professional standards on a national level as president and active member of the American Medical Association and other organizations.

    David Wendel Yandellis an illuminating and well-rounded picture of the strengths and weaknesses of nineteenth-century medicine and of the practitioner, teacher, and leader who shaped the modern medical profession in Kentucky and the nation.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-5028-4
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
    (pp. 1-15)

    On May 4, 1898, Louisvillians paid final tribute to one of the city’s most distinguished residents. Accompanied by the tolling bell at City Hall, the friends, professional colleagues, members of the local chapter of Confederate veterans, and a regiment of the state militia conducted the remains of Dr. David Wendel Yandell to Cave Hill Cemetery, where he was buried on a tree-dotted hillside overlooking a picturesque lake. Tributes were published in leading newspapers and medical journals across the nation, and his widow received letters of condolence from men of international fame in Philadelphia, New York, London, and Edinburgh. With Yandell’s...

    (pp. 16-33)

    Early in the spring of 1846 the University of Louisville was created by the state legislature. An eleven-man Board of Trustees, appointed by the mayor and his council, was to manage the affairs of the university’s three departments—medicine, law, and academics. The law department opened in the fall of 1846. The university’s “Academical Department” did not materialize until 1907, but its building, which was erected in the late 1840s at Ninth and Chestnut, was used briefly by the law department and then became the home of Louisville Male High School. The Louisville Medical Institute was incorporated as the university’s...

    (pp. 34-58)

    When the university’s medical faculty met on September 20 to discuss arrangements for the opening of the 1861–1862 session, Louisville was bustling with military activity. Kentucky’s five months of neutrality were over, and everywhere could be seen the blue uniforms of Union soldiers. The seemingly unsolvable sectional conflict that had dominated the nation’s politics and emotions for more than a half-century had erupted into a civil war that placed the commonwealth in an unenviable position. A border state, Kentucky was linked socially, politically, and economically with both North and South. Many of her citizens harbored strong states’ rights sentiments...

    (pp. 59-84)

    Weary and penniless, David returned to Louisville in July 1865, in doubt of being permitted to resume his profession; reprisals against Confederate sympathizers had occurred in Louisville during the war, and his prominence in the army medical department was well known. But ten days after his arrival David opened an office and quickly rebuilt his practice, for his friends “of both parties met me with more than their ancient cordiality.”¹ He was joined by his father and Lunny, and for many years the three physicians shared the small office adjoining the family home on Chestnut Street.

    Before the outbreak of...

  8. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
    (pp. 85-102)

    For many of Yandell’s associates, teaching was a part-time endeavor that enhanced their professional reputations, provided a handsome remuneration, and required only a few hours of their time each day during the school term. But classroom teaching was a small part of an educator’s responsibility, according to Yandell. Medical education only began in the academic atmosphere of the university; Yandell believed that it should continue throughout a doctor’s professional life, and he worked unceasingly to make readily available to his practicing colleagues the means to continue their education. For twenty-five years he was the active senior editor of one of...

  10. Postscript
    (pp. 103-106)

    The homes of David Yandell and his neighbors are gone, demolished during the recent urban renewal program. The 700 block of Chestnut, once filled with stately two- and three-story brick homes of the Italianate style, is now occupied by modern office buildings, parking lots, and a vocational school. United Mercantile Agencies owns the site of the Yandell home, and the hushed din of the business world has replaced the exuberant laughter and tears of family and friends who enjoyed the home during the last half of the nineteenth century. Chestnut Street was rather arrogantly referred to by its residents as...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 107-114)
  12. A Note to Readers
    (pp. 115-116)