Dean DeWitt Lewis, MD
DEAN DEWITT LEWIS was born in Kewanee, Illinois on August 11, 1874. After receiving an A.B. from Lake Forest College and an M.D. from Rush Medical College, he interned at Cook County Hospital. From 1900 to 1903, he worked as a teacher and investigator in the Department of Anatomy of the University of Chicago with Dr. Bensley. He then returned to Rush Medical College and the Presbyterian Hospital where he quickly gained a reputation as an inspiring teacher of surgical anatomy and clinical surgery. In 1920, he became Professor of Surgery at Rush Medical College. Five years later, he accepted the Professorship of Surgery at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, but a few months later went to Baltimore as Professor of Surgery in the Johns Hopkins Medical School to succeed Dr. William S. Halsted.
Dean Lewis was particularly interested in medical education and writing. He was the first editor of the
Archives of Surgery
, which he developed into one of the outstanding national surgical journals. He edited the widely used
Practice of Surgery
and, at the same time, edited the
International Surgical Digest
He was always interested in organized medicine and he soon became a member of many national and international organizations. His wide interests and erudite background are evident from the numerous national and international societies in which he was an active and prominent member. Among other organizations, he was a member of: the American Surgical Association; the American Association of Anatomists; the American Physiological Society; the Society of Clinical Surgery; the American College of Surgeons; the Royal College of Surgeons (Ireland); and the Royal Australian College of Surgeons. In 1933, he was President of the American Medical Association, and, in the same year, he received an honorary doctor of science degree from the National University of Ireland.
In the First World War, Dean Lewis organized Base Hospital No. 13 at the Presbyterian Hospital. He saw much active service and for the efficiency of his organization and the quality of his work under difficult conditions, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and given the distinguished service medal by the United States Government.
Dean Lewis had many friends in all walks of life. He enjoyed and prized the honors and positions that were heaped upon him, but none changed his sense of the value of the homely virtues of life, and none ever tempted him to neglect his many friendships. An enthusiasm for sports and love of a good game characterized Dean Lewis.
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