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Bertram M. Bernheim was born in Paducah, Kentucky. He attended the Johns Hopkins University for both undergraduate study and medical school, receiving his A.B. in 1901 and his M.D. in 1905. In World War I he served as an operating surgeon at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Base Unit Number 18 and held the rank of captain. He did pioneering work in blood transfusion and cardiovascular surgery, performing the first laparoscopy in the United States. Bernheim was an early advocate of patients’ rights and a founder of the American College of Surgeons. He was the author of several books, including the partially autobiographical A Surgeon’s Domain and The Story of the Johns Hopkins.

Scope and Content

The Bertram M. Bernheim Collection spans his entire career. It consists of unpublished manuscripts, including No Parades: A War Surgeon’s Story and a collection of short stories with hospital settings; correspondence regarding Bernheim’s publications, Surgery of the Vascular System, A Surgeon’s Domain, and The Story of the Johns Hopkins; a Johns Hopkins Hospital photograph album (1902-1903); and several scrapbooks. Records of Bernheim’s surgical practice include three case books (1908-1915), notes from the Hunterian laboratory (1912), two notebooks on anastomosis (1908-1909), and a private ledger from Hebrew Hospital (c. 1920-1925). World War I materials include photostats of orders, letters of commendation, and a scrapbook.

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