MLA Logo (111028 bytes)

History of the Health Sciences
Section of the
Medical Library Association

bullet.gif (284 bytes) Home
bullet.gif (284 bytes) History
bullet.gif (284 bytes) Purpose
bullet.gif (284 bytes) Officers
bullet.gif (284 bytes) Join
bullet.gif (284 bytes) Incipit
bullet.gif (284 bytes) Annual Meetings
bullet.gif (284 bytes) Section Activities
bullet.gif (284 bytes) History of the Health Sciences Web Links

History of the
Health Sciences Section

Myrtelle M. Canavan, 1953

Abstracts for the 2005
MLA Annual Meeting Program, San Antonio TX

Program: History of the Health Sciences Section

Overcoming Challenges: Magnificent Medical Contributions

Marilyn H. Steinberg & Patricia McNary
A Biographic Look at Early Women Pharmacists

Objective: To present biographies of early women pharmacists who overcame obstacles to attain positions in a formerly male-dominated profession, and to prepare a traveling exhibit for distribution across the country at other schools of pharmacy or as a tool for recruitment into the profession.
Methods: Research in archives, schools of pharmacy, and professional societies' early records, to identify and present the lives of early women pharmacists, with emphasis on their challenges, particularly of gender discrimination, and other obstacles, to attain their desired goals.

Lucretia McClure
Highly Qualified, Never Appointed

Objective: The objective is to evaluate the remarkable career of neuropathologist Myrtelle Moore Canavan (1879-1953) to determine if being a woman was the reason why she never received an appointment at Harvard Medical School despite the fact that she was appointed Curator of the Warren Anatomical Museum at Harvard.
Methods: The purpose of the study is to review the education, experience, and papers and publications of Dr. Canavan to establish the significance of her work in comparison with other neuropathologists of the time. The papers and 79 publications by Dr. Canavan are available, including the 1931 publication in which she identified a progressive degenerative disease in infants that bears her name.
Dr. Canavan was pathologist to the Massachusetts Department of Mental Diseases. She was appointed associate professor of neuropathology at the Boston University School of Medicine and also taught at the University of Vermont School of Medicine. During her tenure as Curator, she strengthened the collections of the Warren Museum, acquiring some 1,500 specimens for research and teaching. Results: Dr. Canavan's qualifications were measured against those of three Harvard pathologists. Reviewed were their teaching responsibilities and publications. Conclusions: The review showed that Dr. Canavan was a highly qualified neuropathologist, whose accomplishments and honors equaled those at Harvard. She was Curator of the Warren Museum, but never appointed to the Harvard Medical School. But then, she was a woman.

Valeri Craigle & Joan M. Stoddart
Tales of a Reservation Nurse: The Heroic Life of Edith LeRoy Richardson
Objective: Edith LeRoy Richardson, the granddaughter of a Ute Indian Chief and a certified nurse, helped to improve the health of Native Americans on the reservations of Utah, Oregon, and Oklahoma. Edith’s nursing abilities, as well as her belief in the importance of preserving the hope and dignity of the individual, made her an important figure in the history of Native American health care.
Methods: After centuries of war and exposure to numerous illnesses, the health of Native Americans in the nineteenth century American West was in serious jeopardy. At a time when resources were scarce and culturally competent care virtually nonexistent in Native American custodial agencies, there was a desperate need for medical professionals who understood the physical and cultural issues facing these suffering communities. As a nurse and a member of the Native American community, Edith was able to bridge these disparities in care.
Edith’s friends and family have paid tribute to her life by collecting photographs, newspaper clippings, and diaries in the years since her death in 1977. These materials are compiled into three beautifully preserved scrapbooks, which reside in a Special Collections department at a University Library. It is from these historically significant materials that Edith’s life story is recounted.

Andrea Y. Griffith, Carlene Drake, & Marilyn Crane, AHIP
Ruth Janetta Temple: A Community Health Hero for Los Angeles

Objective: This poster will highlight the career and accomplishments of Dr. Ruth J. Temple, community health crusader and the first African-American female graduate of Loma Linda University (1918).
Methods: Using photographs and text, this poster will describe Dr. Ruth Temple’s many accomplishments and medical interests, including the foundation of a health study club to educate the community on nutrition, sex education, immunization and substance abuse. Pushing the barriers placed on African-American women of the time, Dr. Temple committed herself to community health issues in the city of Los Angeles. The example of her life and accomplishments qualify her as a hero for women and the underprivileged.
Results: Dr. Ruth Temple graduated from the College of Medical Evangelists, what is now Loma Linda University, as a physician, in 1918. Upon graduation, she made $28 a month as an intern with the director of maternity service for the Los Angeles Health Department. Temple and her husband, Otis Banks, bought a house in East Los Angeles and began a free health clinic, later naming it the Temple Health Institute.
Overcoming the prejudices of the time, Dr. Temple was on the teaching staff of White Memorial Hospital teaching white medical students. In 1941, the city health department gave Temple a scholarship to attend Yale University for a master’s in public health; later, Dr. Temple held many positions with the Los Angeles Public Health Department. In 1983, the East Los Angeles Health Center was renamed to the Dr. Ruth Temple Health Center. After a long life of both providing and advocating for access to health care, Dr. Temple died in 1984 at the age of ninety-one. Conclusions: Dr. Ruth Temple is an inspiration and a hero for not only overcoming great obstacles in becoming a physician, but also for advocating whole-person health for the entire community and other public health issues for over fifty years.

Tomeka Oubichon, Shannon Jones, & Cassandra Allen.
Colorful Medicine: Breaking Barriers, Stereotypes, and Making Strides

Objective: To highlight the significant contributions that several lesser-known African-American physicians have made to medicine while overcoming significant racial and economic challenges.
Methods: African-American physicians and medical practitioners around the country make significant contributions to the field of medicine locally and nationally. They have accomplished significant feats in medicine with no recognition or accolades. This poster will focus on the contributions that several selected lesser-known African American physicians have made within their local communities and to medicine.

Ophelia T. Morey
From Self Doubt to Surgeon: Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., M.D

Objectives: This poster will illustrate how an African-American young boy, who was nicknamed “Dummy”, grew up to become a world-renown pediatric neurosurgeon.
Methods: Graphics and Dr. Carson’s enlightening words will show how he overcame self-doubt, poverty and racism.

Judith C. Russell
GPO Strategic Vision and What it Will Mean for Public Access to Government Information

GPO has recently published "A Strategic Vision for the 21st Century," which lays out broad objectives for the agency. With 95% of the new titles added to the Federal Depository Library Program available online, every library now has the ability to access a wide array of Government information for its patrons with no-fee. Understanding what is already available - and what is coming soon - can help each library plan for the integration of electronic Government information into its reference and public services. The GPO plan focuses on three missions: providing Federal agencies and organizations with expert printing and publishing services, partnership with the Federal Depository Libraries for perpetual, free and ready public access, and cost-recovery distribution of printed and electronic Government information products to the general public through the Sales Program.

Tony McSean
Because You Can't Trust a Publisher with Their Archive

To develop effective methods and partnerships to ensure the availability of publishers' scholarly heritage to future generations and to current researchers in the event of disaster or ceasing to publish. Specifically to ensure that the Elsevier digitized resource had assured availability for the future.

Todd Allen Lane & Daniel Dollar
Treasures from the Subbasement: Unlocking a Library's Diverse Collections

A large academic medical library formed a cross-departmental implementation team with participants from our university library system to begin digitalizing its unique, diverse collections of historic manuscripts, paintings, and nonprint items for improved public and scholarly access. We report on our efforts in developing a robust, metadata-rich digital library using open source applications and prevailing standards.

Glenda Wiese
Choices, Challenges, and Leaps of Faith: African-Americans in Chiropractic

African Americans are severely underrepresented in the chiropractic profession, even more so than they are in other health sciences professions. Those who desire to become chiropractors must set out on a lengthy and complicated journey through high school, college, chiropractic school, and transition to practice. The passage through these stages presents significant challenges for many. If more African Americans are to enter and graduate from chiropractic school, chiropractic and education professionals need further insight into the perspectives and experiences of African American students who have successfully traversed the “pipeline” known as chiropractic education. Such insight will enable chiropractic educators to better understand the conditions which promote success in achieving this goal and apply that knowledge in addressing the problem of underrepesentation of African Americans in chiropractic. How do those who have successfully completed this journey perceive their experiences? This qualitative study addresses this question through analysis of interviews with sixteen African American chiropractors. They were asked to reconstruct their educational experiences and to reflect on those experiences. The results were: (1) most students experienced incidents of racism while in chiropractic college; (2) several experienced academic difficulty; (3) most reported that the support of the minority student organizations on their campus was critical to their success; (4) the transition from academic training to practice was as stressful as the formal educational process; and (5) most of the participants practiced in areas with large minority populations and the majority of their patients were minorities. Recommendations include: heavier emphasis on recruiting at historically black colleges and universities; the formation and continued support of organizations like the Student Chapter of the American Black Chiropractor’s Association or the Harvey Lillard Club; wider availability and marketing of academic support services such as counseling and tutoring; and programs to inculcate cultural sensitivity for chiropractic college staff and faculty.

Barbara R. Campbell
Bridging Borders: Curanderismo - Latino Folk Medicine in the Hospital

Purpose: Bridge the gaps between shamanism, witchcraft, and folk medicine with examples from the literature on the misunderstood alternative health practice common on the US/Mexican border.
Setting/Subjects: Over fifty academic online databases and a given search term.
Methodology: Systematic search of 49 subscription databases plus PubMed 251 unique records retrieved were coded using ProCite. Articles were then coded for content.
Results: Curanderismo as a search term yielded different results if truncated as a keyword in title or abstract. Results improved if the database searched the full text of an article. False hits were numerous. Twelve percent pertain to healing practices in countries such as Spain, Portugal, Peru, Cuba, etc. Of the 37 items indexed in ISI's Web of Science, 4 were poems and 2 were letters. Only 18 of the articles were ever cited. Only 16 of the ISI items were indexed in PubMed. Ovid MEDLINE missed 2 articles retrieved using PubMed. Content analysis of the texts of articles indicate that there is a growing movement to integrate curanderismo into medical practice.
Discussion/Conclusion: Little has been written about curanderismo as practiced on the US/Mexico border. Compiling a comprehensive bibliography is complicated by the fact that the term, curandero/a is Spanish for "healer." Records are also retrieved on curanderismo as practiced in other geographic areas of the Spanish and Portuguese speaking world. Although similar in many elements, curanderismo as practiced along the border is a different medical system than curanderismo practiced along the Amazon. Limited in scope, much of the material on curanderismo tends to be biographical (i.e., the writer documents how a specific healer practices his/her "art"). Master healers are alluded to. Occasionally, the medical model underlying curanderismo is placed in the context of pre-Columbian medicine but not to the extent that an outsider would recognize. Nonetheless, articles are appearing advocating including curandero/as into patient care. Working side by side, biomedically trained physicians treat patients with the assistance of folk healers, thus addressing the folk beliefs of the patients and the community as a whole.

David J. Owen
The Emergence of Integrative Medicine on the Health Sciences Campus: Challenges and Opportunities for Librarians

Purpose: A movement is now underway to integrate complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies and techniques with current mainstream health care treatments. This paper will report on how health sciences librarians can play important roles in supporting such integrative medicine programs.
Setting: The library supports a large and diverse population of faculty and research staff in both the clinical and basic sciences. A new integrative medicine center has significantly increased support for CAM and been responsible for the introduction of CAM issues into the medical curriculum.
Brief Description: Integrative medicine refers to the merging of CAM with conventional biomedicine. Health care facilities are increasingly using CAM therapies and techniques and many medical leaders are calling for physicians to become more knowledgeable about alternative medicine, with close to 70% of US medical schools now including some aspect of CAM in their curricula. CAM presents many challenges and opportunities for librarians because of the lack of evidence of effectiveness for many commonly used therapies and the corresponding paucity of reliable information resources. This paper will describe issues relating to librarian involvement in integrative medicine programs on a health science campus, including collection development, instruction and collaborative projects with faculty.

Barbara J. Nail-Chiwetalu
Is Energy Healing Effective? A Systematic Review

Objective: What evidence exists on the effectiveness of energy healing practices on individuals as a form of complementary or alternative medicine?
Methods: Data Sources: Sources of research evidence included: (1) major scholarly databases, (2) reference lists from included studies and articles, (3) citation searching on key articles, (4) hand-searching of key journals, (5) research registers, and (6) the Internet. All available years were included.
Study Selection: Both evaluative and descriptive evidence published in English were included. The primary focus was on the United States, although evidence from other countries was also considered when readily found in the published literature. To make this review manageable and focused, literature on the use of reiki as the primary healing practice was reviewed. Review articles on specific forms of energy or spiritual healing, such as therapeutic touch, healing touch, and distant healing, were used for comparison purposes.
Data Extraction: Key data and themes were extracted from the evaluative and descriptive literature using a predetermined “evidence table” and narrative.
Results: Preliminary results were obtained from twenty-three articles categorized as: (1) personal experience, (2) anecdotal report, (3) qualitative research, (4) observational studies, (5) randomized controlled trials, or (6) pilot or exploratory studies. Reiki was the solo or primary treatment. Nonexperimental evidence reported reiki to be effective for reduction in physical symptoms such as pain, headaches, side effects from drugs, and fatigue, as well as psychological states. Pilot or exploratory studies primarily investigated types of measures that may be used to study the effects of energy healing, such as physiological changes, anxiety and pain scales, depression and stress inventories, and self-report questionnaires.
Conclusions: Clearly, the study of the effectiveness of energy healing does not readily lend itself to the “gold standards” of empirical research in allopathic medicine. Researchers are exploring ways to measure the effects of energy healing while maintaining the rigor of empirical research for acceptance in the Western medical community.

2005 Program