Jefferson Urology History

1904 Through 1951

Orville Horwitz, MD

First Chairman, 1904-1912

Orville Horwitz, MD

Orville Horwitz, MD, served as the First Chairman of the Department of Genito-Urinary Diseases at Jefferson Medical College, from 1904 to 1912. In 1894 Jefferson Hospital appointed Dr. Horwitz as clinical professor of Genito–Urinary Diseases. While a group of clinical professors were identified in unique specialties, full clinical chairs were not yet established. Dr. Horwitz was born in 1860 and came from a distinguished medical family. His father, Phineas, had been Surgeon-General and Medical Director of the U.S. Navy and his grandfather, Jonathan, was an 1811 physician graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. His BS degree was from the University of Pennsylvania (1881) and his MD from Jefferson (1883). A year of internship was served at Jefferson Hospital, followed by a three-year resident service at Pennsylvania Hospital. Dr. Horwitz returned to Jefferson Medical College and Hospital. His initial position was Demonstrator of Anatomy as well as Demonstrator of Surgery, working under the auspices of both Dr. Samuel W. Gross and Dr. W. W. Keen.

Dr. Horwitz equipped Jefferson's Genito-Urinary Department at his own expense. His continued departmental support for equipment and maintenance was not incurred by the hospital, but came from donations of grateful patients. This genito-urinary service started with ten cases and by 1900 consisted of a total of 24,176 old and new cases, hallmarking it as one of the largest departments of the hospital. In February 1902, a group of eight New York Genito-Urinary Society members met and formed the American Urological Association (AUA), just two years before our department was formally established.

In May 1904, a formal Department of Genito-Urinary Diseases in the College was established, and Dr. Horwitz was appointed full Professor and Faculty Chair. His published contributions entailed general surgery and urology. He was a known lecturer at local and national meetings in the field of urology, and quite popular among his medical students for the delivery and content of his teaching lectures. His career ended abruptly with his death in 1912 at the age of 53 years.

Hiram Rittenhouse Loux, MD

Second Chairman, 1912-1930

Hiram R. Loux, MD

Hiram Rittenhouse Loux, MD, presided as the second Chairman of Genito-Urinary Diseases at Jefferson Medical College, from 1912 until 1930. He was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in 1859 and is a descendent of the Rittenhouse family of Pennsylvania. His initial formal education was career oriented as a college teacher.

Dr. Loux practiced general medicine for the next ten years. His yearning for academic medicine brought him back to Jefferson Medical College, where he became an assistant to Dr. Willard W. Keen in the surgical laboratory. Within a year, Dr. Loux was appointed Demonstrator of Surgery as well as Demonstrator of Fracture Dressings and Bandaging.

In 1894, Dr. Loux was appointed Chief Clinical Assistant and Assistant Professor of Gentio-Urinary Diseases under the Chair of Dr. Orville Horwitz. Upon the death of Dr. Horwitz in 1913, Dr. Loux was elected to fill the Chair.

Dr. Hiram Loux is accredited to numerous articles pertaining to general surgery as well as urologic topics. He belonged to numerous local and national scientific societies. The admiration of the medical students for him was professed by the Hiram R. Loux Urological Society and dedication of the 1926 yearbook to him.

Thomas Cooke Stellwagen, DMD, MD

Third Chairman, 1930-1935

Thomas Cooke Stellwagen, DMD, MD

Thomas Cooke Stellwagen, DMD, MD, succeeded Dr. Loux as the third Chairman of Genito-Urinary surgery and served from 1930 until 1935. He was born in Media, Pennsylvania, in 1879. Dr. Stellwagen obtained a doctorate in Dental Surgery from the Philadelphia Dental College, where he taught physiology.

Dr. Stellwagen was drawn to medicine and became a 1903 honors graduate of Jefferson Medical College. He was a pathology resident at Jefferson Hospital. Dr. Horwitz appointed him Chief of Clinic in the Outpatient Genito-Urinary Department, followed by Surgical Assistant to Dr. Chalmers DaCosta and Chief of the Surgical Outpatient Department. With the onset of World War I, Dr. Stellwagen served as a member of the Jefferson Base Hospital Unit No. 38. He was sent to Europe in charge of the frontline surgical mobile unit. Dr. Stellwagen was discharged with the rank of major in the Medical Corps.

Upon Dr. Stellwagen's return to Jefferson, he was elected Associate Professor and succeeded Dr. Loux as chair of the Department in 1930. Dr. Stellwagen was a charter member and President of the Genito-Urinary Society, as well as the Association of Genito-Urinary Surgeons and the American Urological Association. His teaching skills were acclaimed by his students.

David Melvin Davis, MD

Fourth Chairman, 1935-1951

David Melvin Davis, MD

Dr. David Melvin Davis was the fourth Chairman of the department, from 1935 to 1951. He was born in Buffalo, New York. His performance on both the collegiate and graduate level was magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1907 and the medical college at Johns Hopkins University in 1911. Dr. Davis interned at Baltimore City Hospital and returned to Johns Hopkins as an assistant pathologist. His research endeavors paved the way for his directorship of the Brady Urological Institute. The main research interest of Dr. Davis was in the field of sexually transmitted disease, namely the gonococcus organism. His career was interrupted by military duties in World War I, both abroad and in the states, where he rose to the rank of major.

Back at the Brady Institute, Dr. Davis completed a urological residency, and over a two-year period, coauthored with Dr. Hugh H. Young, the acclaimed urological treatise entitled “Practice of Urology.” He served as associate editor of the Journal of Urology at the time of its inception in 1917.

Dr. Davis moved on to serve as chairman of the Department of Urology at the newly formed Medical College of the University of Rochester. After a brief period of service at Rochester, his desire to perfect his unending training placed him once again as an associate of Dr. Hugh Young. After a brief period of general practice, Jefferson's Dean, Ross V. Patterson, recruited and appointed Dr. David M. Davis, as chairman in 1935. This was to be the beginning of 16 fruitful and dynamic years at Jefferson.

As an investigator, teacher, clinician, and authority in urologic surgery, Dr. Davis became known throughout the world. Shortly after his arrival, the Department of Genito-Urinary Diseases formally changed its name to the Department of Urology. The teaching system was modified by a gradual reduction of didactic lectures and emphasis on small groups with student participation. Dr. Davis was a severe quizmaster, with an uncomfortable mixture of invective and cajolery, until his point was strongly driven home.

In 1946, a Professorship in Urology was established under the bequest of Henry Reed Hatfield as a memorial to his father, Nathan Lewis Hatfield. Dr. Davis was its first recipient. He was also the first recipient of the Hugh Hampton Young Award to the American Urological Association in 1969. In addition to his memberships in a galaxy of scientific societies, he was president of the Medical and Surgical Association of the Southwest (1934-1935), of the Mid-Atlantic Section of the American Urological Association (1941-1945). He held honorary membership in the urologic societies of Britain, Greece, Mexico and Argentina.

Under Dr. Davis' leadership, advanced training in urology was established. The first residencies at Jefferson started in 1937 in Obstetrics, and the Department of Urology established a formal residency in 1939. World War II caused a delay in increasing the number of residents, but a second was created in 1946 and a third in 1947. In 1948, an arrangement with Professor John H. Gibbon, Jr., provided a year of training in general surgery before beginning three years in the Urologic Residency.

Dr. Davis greatly improved the standard of care in the Urology Ward and Curtis Clinic. In addition to more than 130 journal articles, after academic retirement Dr. Davis wrote a textbook Mechanisms of Urologic Disease (1953). He designed a cystoscopic-roentgenographic-fluoroscopic table, constructed in Philadelphia by the Franklin X-ray Corporation. His particular interests were in hypospadias, hydronephrosis, and radical operations for carcinoma of the prostate and the famous "Davis Intubated Ureterotomy."

Dr. Davis was most unhappy that the rules of the Board of Trustees caused his compulsory retirement to emeritus status at age 65 in 1951. The class of 1952 presented his portrait to the college. He remained active in practice, research and authorship of articles for another 17 years, until he died on December 31, 1968, at the age of 82. To immortalize his memory, the Annual David M. Davis Visiting Professorship was established in 1981 in his honor.

Dr. George Strong, a 1939 graduate of Johns Hopkins College of Medicine, served as a resident urologist at several institutions, including Johns Hopkins. He was recruited by Dr. Davis, joined the Jefferson Medical College faculty in 1946, and practiced with the department for more than 40 years. Dr. Strong was a fixture at Jefferson and recognized for his superior clinical, technical and teaching skills. He formally retired in 1987, and an engraved wall display in our conference room commemorates his years of dedicated service.