Johns Hopkins


All this is a far cry from the days Welch described in a nostalgic letter to Howard Kelly in 1933, on the occasion of the latter’s seventy-fifth birthday: “You will remember some of the mad pranks Osler used to play on your new patients. Osler, arriving early in the morning and learning that you had not seen [them yet], would say that he would prepare the patients for your visit by dropping in and informing [them] that [your] senile tremor disappeared as soon as you began to operate.”

Perhaps Johns Hopkins would have been established as one of the finest hospitals and medical training centers in the world without these men; but it is doubtful. In any case, the name is still synonymous with medical expertise. A fine tribute to the institution made by Halsted’s good friend Henry James when he came to Baltimore to see and admire in 1905 indicates the feeling Hopkins still inspires: “The great Hospital, with its endless chambers of woe … [has] turned … to fine poetry … the high beauty of applied science.”

Kelly and Mencken and God