July 23, 2013
In this 1941 photograph, students Robert Rinehart and Leonard Christensen appear none too thrilled with the job of staffing the medical school's bookstore. As the haphazardly stocked shelves reveal, the shop really served as a general store for students – offering not just textbooks but doctor's bags, flashlights, and even tennis balls.
Rinehart (1916-1985) and Christensen (1918-1999) both earned M.D. degrees in 1941, shortly after this photo was taken. Both went on to notable careers in medicine, and maintained strong ties to Oregon and the medical school. Rinehart was the descendant of an important family of Oregon pioneers and physicians. In Tillamook County, OR, he worked with his family to establish the Rinehart Clinic, Rinehart Foundation, and the Harvey E. Rinehart Memorial Hospital, named for his father. He later taught rheumatology as a professor at the School of Medicine while continuing his philanthropic activities.
The son of Norwegian immigrants who settled in Minnesota, Christensen served as navy flight surgeon in World War II before completing his ophthalmology residency at the medical school. He later joined the faculty of the medical school, serving until 1978. He made major contributions to the field of ophthalmology, including performing the first corneal transplant operation in Oregon.
More on May's "From the Archives"
Don Houghton, M.D., shared his memories of the location in the photograph: "I recognize the containers on the bench. They are pathology specimens that were preserved for teaching and kept in an extensive collection ("museum") in the pathology laboratories. I assume that the specimens selected for the discussion in this case where chosen for their value in teaching about OB-GYN disease. When I was a student, Pathology occupied the top floor of Baird Hall and these specimens lined the walls of a large laboratory that ran the length of the front side of the building." Thanks, Don!
Contributed by Maija Anderson, Archivist, OHSU Historical Collections & Archives