Medical records



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  • Records detailing the medical history and treatments conducted by individuals with a medical practitioner or in an institution such as a hospital or clinic.

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Medical records

Medical records

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Medical records

  • UF Records, medical

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Medical records

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Arpad G. Gerster private practice patient records

  • US AA005
  • Collection
  • 1881-1923

This collection contains the private practice records of Dr. Arpad G. C. Gerster. They span almost his entire career as a surgeon in New York City, from 1881-1923. These records are contained in three bound volumes and five boxes. The patient cards were received in three wooden boxes.
The volumes, which were personalized for Dr. Gerster, contain chronological patient records from January 1, 1881 to July 24, 1906. Each patient record has pre-printed slots for the following information: date, age, name and dwelling, business and nativity, diagnosis, treatment, and remarks. Dr. Gerster completed these categories. However, he often had little or nothing to say under 'remarks' and sometimes did not include 'age.' 'Business' was included less often in later years. Presumably, comments under 'treatment' were not completed when not necessary.
The first volume is entirely in German (except for Latin diagnoses). Some of the early entries in the second volume are in English, and by 1892 they are primarily in English. In the front of each volume is an alphabetical index to patients' case records. The last entry in the third volume is on July 24, 1906.
There is a three year gap between the bound volumes of patient records and the first case in the file boxes, which commences on July 26, 1909. Here, cases numbered from 1 - 442 were recorded on pre-printed cards. Some additional questions are included on these cards. These include: civil state, family history, personal history, previous diseases, date of operation, operator, assistant, anesthetist, anaesthetic, amount and examination of urine (chart to be filled in). On the reverse side are pre-printed anatomical drawings for further notations. These forms were clearly meant for use with patients expecting a surgical procedure. However, these cards were often not completed as many patients did not require surgery. Beginning with case number 444 (January 1911) Dr. Gerster ran out of the pre-printed forms and used plain paper to record his patient information. These records reflect the same information as that on the preprinted cards, however they are more difficult to read.
The patient records reflect a private practice of the time. Although Dr. Gerster functioned as a general physician, his practice revealed a bias towards surgically treatable patients. At this time, it would have been difficult to have an exclusively surgical practice because there would not have been enough business to support it. However, because of Dr. Gerster's abilities and prominence, he came as close as possible to having such a practice. Over the span of the records, the types of cases did not show any significant shift in character. The cases have a great deal of variety. Included among the many diagnoses were rheumatoid arthritis, alcoholic hepatitis, acute nephritis, chronic gastritis, double cleft palate, eczema, inguinal hernia, syphilis, vulva cutis, pulmonary tuberculosis, arteriosclerosis, uterine hemorrhage, and many others.
There are a variety of inserts and attachments found throughout the patient records. These include sketches by Dr. Gerster illustrating ailments and abnormalities of patients; correspondence from physicians introducing patients (a number of these are from out of state and many are not in English); pathology lab reports from both the German Hospital and Mount Sinai regarding excised tissue; correspondence from patients; and two radiographic images. (These images are located in: Case Book Number 3, April 17, 1901, and Card File Box 1, in front of Case 104.)
Private patient records such as these are probably uncommon in hospital archives since they do not directly relate to hospital practice. These records are especially interesting because they occur during a period when surgery became safer and more common and when the rise and dominance of surgery as a method of treatment was seen. Additionally, they are of interest because they are the records of Dr. Gerster, an influential and prominent surgeon during his time.
Dr. Gerster's notes end with case number 3670 on February 23, 1923. The patient records continue to October 27, 1923. An unidentified physician apparently took over Gerster's practice shortly before his (Gerster's) death on March 11, 1923.

Gerster, Arpad G. (Arpad Geyza), 1848-1923

Autopsy record books

These autopsies were not the first done at Mount Sinai, but they seem to be the first time the physicians created and gathered together a structured record of the autopsies. The early autopsy reports were signed, usually by a member of the house staff, so names such as Drs. Burrill B. Crohn, Eli Moschcowitz, Israel Strauss (later chief neurologist) and others appear. In 1893 a formal Pathology Laboratory was created by Henry Heineman, MD. In 1895 he turned the operation of this over to Frederick Mandlebaum, MD, who served until 1926. Dr. Mandlebaum developed an allergy to formalin and delegated the autopsy work to assistants. In 1896 Charles Elsberg, MD, later a noted neurosurgeon, was appointed Assistant Pathologist and he created entries in these volumes. In 1904, Leo Buerger, MD was appointed the first Pathological Interne and so he created some of the entries. Dr. Emanuel Libman signed more autopsies than any other person in the early volumes. He served as the Assistant and then Associate Pathologist for many years. George Baehr, MD was in charge of the morbid anatomy and autopsy service from 1919-1926.

These volumes document primarily autopsies on adult patients, with the exception of three boxes of pediatric autopsy protocol records. The first five volumes of this series record all autopsies and wound explorations that were done at The Mount Sinai Hospital from February 1883-December 31, 1910, over 2,025 cases in all. The early volumes are indexed by name and also diagnosis. By volume 3, there is only a list of patient names in the front and no index of diagnoses. By the end of August 1908, there is no longer even a list of patient names. The early volumes have a few drawings in them and there is one photograph pasted in volume 1. There are sometimes un-numbered cases written in the last pages of the log books. They have the letters IND (?) penciled in at the top. These may be autopsies done by individual physicians not part of the autopsy service. Abraham Jacobi is listed as a physician on one of these cases. The entries are initially all hand written, but typed pages are pasted in as time goes on. Note that someone wrote Volume 4 in the front pages of volume 3. The 1912 volume says “no. VIII” on the spine. It is not clear how many volumes are missing between 1910 and 1912.

The volumes were initially used until the pages were filled, and so they end at random dates. Volume 5 ends with December 31, 1910. This may mark the beginning of the practice of volumes being devoted to set time periods, with new years beginning in new volumes.

There are some gaps in the data. There are no records for 1911, 1913-15, 6-12/1929, 7-12/1933, 1-3/1935, and the last third of 1951. The pediatric entries only cover from 1954-1972 and the information seems duplicative of what is in the main volumes.

All of these volumes list the diagnosis, patient information that varied over time (name, age, nationality, date/time of death), and autopsy findings. Initially there are no microscopic findings recorded, but these appear before the 20th century.

Mount Sinai Hospital (New York, N.Y.). Department of Pathology

John H. Garlock, MD papers

  • US AA013
  • Collection
  • 1915-1967

This small collection spans the career of Dr. Garlock: from medical school material, to ambulance duty logs from his internship at New York Hospital, photographs and some case reports on plastic surgery patients, private practice patient records, Operative Clinic presentations he made as Chief of Surgical Service at Mount Sinai, to the book on surgery of the alimentary tract that was published after his death.
While the range is wide, the records still only provide a surface picture of the man. The detailed notes and sometimes colorful drawings that Dr. Garlock created in medical school speak to his attention to detail. The early volumes are labeled "John Harry Garlock." He also noted a change of address on the notebooks from 346 W. 56th Street to 180 Claremont Avenue. This move happened during his medical school years.
His surgical acumen and style are brought out in the patient files and transcripts of the surgical clinics. The latter also give a glimpse into early plastic surgery at New York Hospital and The Mount Sinai Hospital. It was Dr. Garlock who helped establish plastic surgery as a surgical specialty here. The clinics were ended in January of 1943 for the duration of the War because there was a problem obtaining a sufficient number of orderlies.
Also instructive for insights into Dr. Garlock are the correspondence files, one with colleagues (Box 1, f.6) and the other with patients (Box 2, f.6). The ambulance log books in Box 1 show Dr. Garlock's keen eye for his surroundings and provide wonderful details on the people he treated and the treatments of the day.
Of note, too, is a series of letters Dr. William Hitzig wrote on behalf of Dr. Garlock when the latter was planning a trip to India. Dr. Hitzig had many connections there and wrote letters of introduction for the Garlocks. There is also a series of letters regarding a controversy between Drs. Sigmund Mage and Richard Lewisohn. (Box 1, f.9)
The patient records found here are only a portion of the files maintained by Dr. Garlock at his office. At his death, the records were divided among Dr. Garlock's junior colleagues. Many of those included here are the records of ileostomy and colostomy patients that were taken by Dr. Albert S. Lyons.
This collection contains some photographs, many of which are large and mounted. Thirteen posed publicity photos of unknown musicians and dancers were removed and sent to the Lincoln Center Archives for inclusion in their collections.

Garlock, John H.

Roosevelt Hospital records

  • US AA105
  • Collection
  • 1871-2013

Please review the notes under the individual series below. For additional information on that series, go to and enter the OCLC # provided to read the catalog record for that series.

Roosevelt Hospital (New York, N.Y.)

The Church of the Holy Communion collection

  • US AA102
  • Collection
  • 1854-1960

This is a small collection. Of particular significance are the two patient registers, or casebooks, of the Infirmary which report on the condition of the patients cared for there by the Sisterhood of the Holy Communion. The last page of the second volume refers to the transition to the new St. Luke’s Hospital in 1858. The collection also includes several historical sketches of the church, a program from the 90th anniversary service, a short biography of Anne Ayres, the first Sister, is included as well as a portrait of her, and pictures of the church building. (Note that these have been moved to the Archives Photograph Collection.) A Founders’ Day sermon from 1927 and a charming Christmas card from a Miss Roberts and Sister Anne are also found in the collection.

St. Luke's Hospital Center. The Richard Bolling Memorial Library

Woman's Hospital in the State of New York records

  • US AA101
  • Collection
  • 1854-1966 (bulk 1855-1952)

The documents comprising the records of the Woman’s Hospital in the State of New York include annual reports, committee reports, meeting minutes, correspondence, photographs, reprints and written works prepared by the medical staff, 19th century patient casebooks, the manuscript of the first gynecological text book in the U.S., notebooks recording expectant fathers’ thoughts, original gynecological illustrations for text books, and medical instruments. Although most of the material deals with the administrative aspects of the hospital, documentation of the medical staffs’ accomplishments is also provided.

Bound volumes of annual reports, which include reports from the Woman’s Hospital Association, Board of Governors, Board of Supervisors and the Medical Department, form the most complete series among these records, though the collection lacks the first 22 volumes of reports, and only starts at Volume 23, 1877-1878. The reports provide a description of the hospital’s organizational structure and its constitution and by-laws. Additionally, each offers an overview of the major events and accomplishments for that year: statistical data, such as the number of patients admitted and treated, financial information concerning the budget, and donations and their donors. Several of the reports include the text of speeches given at the annual combined meetings of the Boards and biographical sketches of hospital physicians. (Note: Earlier copies of Woman’s Hospital annual reports are found at the New York Historical Society.)

Also included in the annual reports are monthly and quarterly reports submitted to the Board of Governors by the Boards and their committees. Their dates and numbers imply that several are missing. These reports include statistical information, e.g., number of patients being treated, financial data, and descriptions of the hospital’s physical condition. Although incomplete, the medical reports provide statistical and narrative reports of the pathologist and other physicians.

Minutes of meetings constitute a significant portion of this collection. They record the proceedings of the various Boards and their respective committees. The discussions reveal the hierarchy in the Woman’s Hospital organizational structure. There are gaps in the reports, however.

Some correspondence addressed to the Board of Governors has been filed with the Board’s records. Several of the letters refer to appointments of physicians and other personnel, while the remainder are general in nature.

The casebooks span dates between 1855 and 1871 and include patient information from J. Marion Sims, MD and Thomas Addis Emmet, MD. The text includes original, hand drawn pencil sketches of some of the cases, sometimes in color. The original casebooks are fragile and have been digitally scanned for researcher use.

The records of the Woman’s Hospital in the State of New York shed light on the history of the Hospital from an organizational and medical perspective. The evolution of the hospital is highlighted by the wide time span covered by the materials. References to other hospitals and certain epidemics supply information about general health conditions in New York City during this time period.

Woman's Hospital in the State of New York