THE JOHNS HOPKINS Medical Institutions' centennial, major events of which will take place in the next few days, is reviving some fascinating questions of American medical history.
Would the university and hospital that bear his name ever have been founded if Baltimore banker Johns Hopkins had overcome family resistance and married the one woman he is said to have truly loved (instead of remaining a lifelong bachelor)? What would today's three-hospital system (55 000 inpatients and nearly 1 million outpatients annually) be like if physicians William H. Welch, William S. Halsted, William Osler, Howard Kelly, and John S. Billings had not served Hopkins in its early days?
While there are no precise answers to questions like those, the quality of work being done today at Hopkins—In the hospitals and schools of medicine, public health, and nursing—speaks for itself. It is apparent in the reports in this theme issue of JAMA