Jefferson Urology History

1951 Through 1976

Theodore R. Fetter, MD

Fifth Chairman, 1951-1967

Theodore R. Fetter, MD

Theodore R. Fetter, MD, served as the fifth chair from 1951 to 1967. Between the innovations of department chairman David M. Davis and the research initiatives of Paul D. Zimskind, his stewardship was described as ruling the department with a steady, heavy hand. Dr. Fetter's educational background consisted of a BS from Lafayette College and an MD from Jefferson (1926). He remained as an intern at the Jefferson Medical College Hospital for the next 27 months, and during this he selected urology as his lifetime interest. Dr. Fetter remained at Jefferson and worked under the auspices of three chairmen, Drs. Loux, Stellwagen and Davis. His secondary interest was urologic pathology, and he studied under Dr. B. L.Crawford, Director of Clinical Laboratories.

Dr. Fetter was a dominant presence and was quite critical in ward rounds, which caused him to be portrayed as a "hard taskmaster." However, his students excelled in clinical training, especially in cystoscopy which was taught under his direct supervision. His medical practice philosophy was to present “the utmost in scientific and compassionate care to the patient.” Dr. Fetter's accomplishments were beyond that of a clinician. His numerous publications expanded a wide spectrum of urinary topics and were a significant literary contributor on genito-urinary disease in the classical text Anspach, Gynecology. He served as president of the Pennsylvania State Medical Society in 1952, and as president of the Mid Atlantic Section of the American Urological Association.

During Dr. Fetter's chairmanship, modern urology was developing rapidly. Intravenous pyelography, better cystoscopes, resectoscopes with Bovie machines for electric cutting and coagulation, use of antibiotics, and anesthesia with use of intravenous fluids, and blood loss replacement were all major advances. The residents and medical students were trained with the latest instrumentation and presented knowledge on the changing concepts of general urology. Dr. Jules Bogaev, who assisted Dr Fetter, was largely responsible for the ward service from which the senior residents received their experience, with primary responsibility for pre and postoperative patient care and performing surgical procedures. The students were most fortunate to know teaching and attending urologists such as Jules Bogaev, Walter Baker, Willard Drake, Solomon Kensal, Alex Raney, Louis Wilkerson and Nicolas Varano. These clinicians taught, by example, humanity and respect for the dignity of the house staff and the patients – be they charity or private. During this time Jefferson urologist Dr. Willard Drake was the first urologist to use the word "urodynamics." He invented the Drake uroflowmeter, which thousands of urologists used in their office to diagnose bladder outflow problems.

Paul Zimskind, MD, PhD

Sixth Chairman, 1967- 1976

Paul Zimskind, MD, PhD

Dr. Paul Zimskind succeeded Dr. Fetter as the sixth chairman, serving from 1967 to 1976. He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University and completed medical training and urology residency at Jefferson. During his residency, Dr. Zimskind carried out human and animal experiments on the physiology of urethral dynamics, for which he subsequently earned his PhD.

Dr. Zimskind was honored as being one of twenty-five Academic Markle Scholars throughout the U.S. and Canada. This award was for the development of the scholar as a teacher or investigator in the field of medicine. Shortly after receiving this national honor, he assumed the chairmanship of the Department of Urology, as one of the youngest men to reach the status of executive faculty at the age of only 36.

Dr. Zimskind's research accomplishments in urodynamics received international recognition. He led studies on the dynamics of normal and abnormal urinary conduction. Using pressure readings and fluoroscopic motion pictures of urinary tract activity; he evaluated the various laboratory, radiographic and clinical features in patients with renovascular hypertension in an effort to establish firm criteria for differentiating potentially correctible versus noncorrectible cases; and he designed projects to discover means of enhancing the preservation of functional renal and ureteral tissues for future organ transplantation.

He is remembered by his students for his meticulous clarity, organization and engaging delivery of his lectures to the medical students. Every lecture was extended by stimulating research discussions among the students. He was a member of various prestigious urologic societies and was able to publish 43 scientific papers and give 77 presentations at scientific meetings worldwide, before his sudden death at age 44 of Addison's disease. Jules H. Bogaev, MD, clinical professor of urology, became acting chairman of the department in 1976, while a search for a new chair was initiated. Dr. Bogaev graduated from the University of Pennsylvania College of medicine and served in the Naval Medical Corps. In 1955 he joined the Jefferson faculty as instructor and served his entire professional career at Jefferson. He gave up his practice in 1977, and his patients were transferred to the care of Dr. Ken Brownstein. In 1989, he was appointed honorary faculty of the Department of Urology.