During the past summer, the interior of the Hygiene Building has been rearranged to provide more examining rooms, a waiting room, facilities for the dental and eye clinics, and a well equipped clinical laboratory. A central desk has been provided on the second floor in order to enable an information clerk to facilitate distribution of men to the particular service desired.
The method of caring for individual case records has been changed with a view to avoiding delays, to provide for a follow-up system, and to enable the staff to know on short notice many important details of work done and being done.
The entire third floor of the building, previously used only for Freshman physical examinations, is now arranged to take care of the major part of the routine work done in the building. At present the student will find the waiting room on this floor divided by an office-type partition temporarily installed to permit two activities to be carried on simultaneously:
1. The Freshman physical examinations, and
2. The routine work of the clinic. By the later part of October this partition will be removed, thus opening up a pleasant room, ample for present needs. The examining rooms are arranged about the waiting room, each one equipped to expedite good work. A station for the nurse in attendance is nearby.
Adequate well lighted space has been provided for the dental clinic on the same floor. The space for the eye clinic is at the rear of the second floor. These clinics have been removed from the Stillman to the Hygiene Building in order to make the services offered more accessible to Harvard men.
While the professional staff has been increased in an effort to meet the increasing demands made upon the Department, (there will be two physicians in the morning from 8.30 to 12 o'clock and two physicians and one surgeon in the afternoon from 1 to 5 o'clock) it is necessary to remind members of the University that, unless a rigid appointment system is set up, some waiting will at times be necessary before a doctor may be seen. This is not a situation peculiar to the Hygiene Department. The staff realizes that time should be an important item in every man's schedule and will seek to minimize delays. In this connection, written criticisms of the Department or any phase of its activities, addressed to the Professor of Hygiene, will receive consideration.
Since the organization of the Department of Hygiene by Dr. Roger I. Lee, emphasis has been placed upon the fact that all professional relations between doctors and students are regarded as confidential. This was the wish of Dr. Henry K. Oliver, the founder of the Department, and is in line with usual professional custom. The present staff will carry on this important tradition.
The status of Stillman Infirmary has been changed in one important respect. Beginning September 23, 1935, the Infirmary will be used strictly as an Infirmary, that is for the care only of minor illness such as acute respiratory infections, simple contagious diseases, etc. Cases of major illness, major surgery, etc., will be hospitalized in hospitals allied with the Harvard Medical School, chiefly the Massachusetts General Hospital, including the Baker Memorial and Phillips House, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, the Beth Israel Hospital, and the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. When thus hospitalized, each case will be under the care usually of a senior hospital staff man of recognized distinction in his field. Under this arrangement, any seriously sick man, or any man needing the care of highly trained specialists, will have available a grade of professional and hospital ser- vice not possible to give in the Stillman or any other infirmary.
It seems necessary to make clear what the University offers in return for the medical fee of $10.00 required of each student. This fee covers consultation services of the doctors of the Hygiene Department in their offices in the Hygiene Building, in dormitories, at Dillon Field House, and elsewhere about the University, and includes bed and board for two weeks if illness occurs, in a ward of the Infirmary. Charges are made for special services such as X-rays, dental and eye service, etc. Because a man happens to be registered as a student at Harvard and pays a medical fee of $10.00, this does not mean that the University obligates itself to meet expenses incurred by serious illness during residence, nor that it should assume exclusive responsibility for the professional care of such illness. It does intend to give the student advice as to where he can be given expert professional service and care when the circumstances of his disability warrant referring him beyond the services offered by the Hygiene Department.
The change now being made to hospitalize major cases is done in the spirit of offering to very sick Harvard men the best possible professional facilities afforded by Harvard's great medical school and the hospitals allied with it. The student will be expected to pay for these services, less a small amount deducted in each case in lien of the provision concerning care in Stillman Infirmary included in the $10.00 fee. This deduction, paid by the University, will apply only to the cases sent to the hospital on the advice of members of the staff of the Hygiene Department. Doctors' fees for routine services at the Infirmary and for dormitory calls have, in the past, been a legitimate but often unpaid charge. Charges will now be made only for calls out of hours, especially at night, and for any other service beyond the usual routine.
In view of the change made in the status of the Stillman, it is likely that the cost of medical care in general will be somewhat higher than in the past and it may be necessary another year to increase the $10.00 fee required of all students.
In the case of local men who may become ill at home under the care of the family physician, the Hygiene Department should be notified of such illness, and when possible, a report of the illness sent in by the doctor. The staff will cooperate with family physicians in all possible ways.
Due to the generosity and interest of Miss Mabel Lyman and her friends, the Hostess House at 25 Follen Street will function again this year as a rest house