Thursday, June 18, 2009

UNC Medical Student Wins Bean Student Research Award

For the third time in four years, a UNC medical student has won the William B. Bean Student Research Award from the American Osler Society. This year Chris Dibble, currently a third-year MD/PhD student, took the honors for his proposal entitled “Osler and Trudeau: The North American Campaign Against Tuberculosis.” Chris last year also won the inaugural McLendon-Thomas Award in the History of Medicine sponsored by the Bullitt History of Medicine Club for earlier research on Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau [1848-1915], and presented his essay at a Bullitt Club lecture in November 2008.

UNC is linked historically to Dr. Trudeau and his sanitarium in Saranac Lake, New York through two well known individuals. Dr. Henry T. Clark [1917-2008], former UNC Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, was an intern and fellow at the Trudeau Sanitarium from 1940-1943. Dr. Clark’s papers are archived in the Southern Historical Collection in Wilson Library; a finding aid is available online. Dr. Louis Round Wilson [1876-1979], University Librarian and first director of the UNC School of Library Science, was a patient at the sanitarium in 1916, during which time he wrote letters to Edward Graham Kidder and maintained a “Tuberculosis Record Book.” These items and many others are part of the Wilson Papers housed, appropriately enough, in Wilson Library, for which Dr. Wilson is the namesake; a finding aid to the collection is available online.

Previous winners of the Bean Award are James Fraser in 2008 and Lee Hampton in 2006. James’ project title was “Molding an Independent Specialty: Plastic Surgery in Postwar America, 1919-1941” and Lee’s was “Albert Sabin and the Western Hemisphere Polio Eradication Campaign.” Both students gave earlier versions of their research at Bullitt Club lectures.

The Bean Award supports “research in the broad areas of medical history and medical humanities,” and carries a $1500 cash prize and $750 travel stipend for students to present their work at the annual meeting of the American Osler Society. As part of the application for the award, candidates must submit “a letter of support from a faculty sponsor who will assume responsibility for planning and guidance of the fellowship.” At UNC, this role has been played by Dr. H. Michael Jones, Clinical Professor of Pathology in the School of Medicine. Dr. Jones is an active member of the American Osler Society and the co-creator of Ask Osleriana, a searchable database available online.

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