Tales of VUMC Past

The pediatrician, the resident, the strawberry monster, and the zebra

Dr. William “Buck” Donald was a Vanderbilt Pediatrics legend. In his long career caring for children, he treated many routine conditions — and some that were not routine. Medical people have a term for the not routine — “zebras.”

The Wild Kingdom guy thought it would be a good idea to bring a python into the hospital. He was right.

It’s cold-blooded, check it and see

Polio patients, iron lung respirators, and…hey, is that Pat Boone??!!

Polio was a terrifying disease, once filling wards at VUMC with paralyzed patients in iron lungs. Vaccines have saved us from all that.

I was the last person in an iron lung at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

It was in a storage room. It still worked. For some reason, I was allowed to get in it.

There is a reminder, hiding in plain sight in the architecture of Medical Center North, of how VUMC dealt with a deadly infectious disease almost 100 years ago

An open-air porch for tuberculosis patients was built into the old Vanderbilt Hospital — and it’s still visible if you know where to look

An afternoon with the woman who grew up at One Hundred Oaks

It was a retailing wonderland that VUMC transformed into a health care destination. But before all that, it was Carolyn Suschnick’s home.

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