Biographical / Historical
Randolph Winslow, a Baltimore physician, surgeon, and medical school professor, was born in Hertford, North Carolina on October 23, 1852. He died in 1937.
He grew up in an environment of medicine: his father, Caleb, was a much respected surgeon; his uncle, John, was a prominent physician who held the chair of materia medica at the Maryland College of Pharmacy; and his brother, John was a recognized specialist in diseases of the nose and throat and professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The medical atmosphere was maintained throughout Randolph's life and two of his sons followed the family tradition: both Nathan and FitzRandolph graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and later became members of the faculty.
Randolph himself received his A.B. from Haverford College in 1871, his M.D. from the University of Maryland College of Medicine in 1873 (standing at the head of his class), and an M.A. from Haverford after special study in advanced Greek. Dr. Winslow pursued further medical studies in 1883 and 1906 when he traveled to Berlin, Paris, Vienna and other European cities. There he attended medical clinics in such subjects as surgery and midwifery and purchased a number of surgical instruments.
On graduation from medical school Dr. Winslow began pedagogical work at the University of Maryland Medical School as an Assistant Demonstrator of Anatomy (1873 1880). He then served as Demonstrator of Anatomy (1880 1886), Lecturer on Clinical Surgery (1886 1891), professor of Anatomy and Clinical Surgery (1891 1902) and Professor of Surgery (1902 1921). He was named Professor Emeritus of Surgery in 1921.
During his early career he was on the surgical staff of the Baltimore City Hospitals (then Bay View Asylum), the Good Samaritan Hospital, Hebrew Hospital (now Sinai) and the Elkton Hospital. He served for more than twenty five years as consultant surgeon to the Maryland Training School for Boys at Lock Raven, and as physician to the Johns Hopkins Colored Orphan Asylum. He was one of the founders of the Woman's Medical College in Baltimore, a professor of surgery there (1882 1893) and dean (1890 1892). He held the chair of Operative Surgery and Topographic Anatomy of the Baltimore Polyclinic (1984) and was also surgeon in chief to the University Hospital and Consulting Surgeon to the Hebrew Hospital.
Dr. Winslow was very interested in the advancement of medical education. It was mainly through his efforts that the second University Hospital was built, the medical curriculum was expanded from two to three years and then to four years and that the Baltimore Medical College and the College of Physicians and Surgeons were merged into the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland. He served as a regent of the University of Maryland (1891 1920) and on the board of trustees of the Endowment funds of the University of Maryland. Dr. Winslow sat in the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association, on the Judicial Council of the AMA (7 years), and on the Executive Council of the Association of American Medical Colleges (20 years). He was a member of the House of Delegates and on the Council of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland and he served as the vice president of the Faculty (1896 97) and president (1914). He was a member of numerous Medical Associations. Winslow was honorary president of the 'Randolph Winslow Surgical Society, a club founded by students at the University of Maryland in 1911 and named in his honor. He was president of the Southern Surgical Association (1921) and a fellow and a founder of the American College of Surgeons (1913). He attended many national and international medical conferences, and wrote prolifically on surgical and medical subjects (see attached listing of published articles available at the University of Maryland at Baltimore, Health Services Library).
In addition to his professional service and writing, Dr. Winslow was well known for his surgical practice. He was one of the first to introduce surgical antisepsis in Maryland; he was the first Maryland surgeon to resect the pylorus for carcinoma and to shorten the round ligaments; he performed the first vaginal hysterectomy in the state (1888); he was the first Maryland surgeon to operate successfully for gunshot wound of the intestine (1893).
From 1911 until he retired, he was a lieutenant in the Medical Reserve Corps of the Army, and is described by his son, Nathan, as being very disappointed at not being called into active service when the United States entered World War I.
Professionally Dr. Winslow seems to have been regarded as an excellent as well as demanding teacher, and as a surgeon with sound judgment, bold when necessary, but conservative, "never jeopardizing his patients for the sake of effect" (University of Maryland School of Medicine). He wrote well, simply and with clarity, and possessed skill, earnestness, and leadership qualities when working with students, and was quick to recognize merit. Personally, he was rigorously honest, direct, earnest, sincere, loyal, and fearless. (University of Maryland School of Medicine, Annals of Surgery, etc.)
He was happily married in 1877 to Rebecca Fayssoux Leper, who survived him by 3 years. Thirteen children were born of the marriage, delivered by Dr. Winslow himself. Twelve of them survived him, nine sons and three daughters: Nathan, 1878; John Leiper, 1880; Fitz Randolph, 1881; Edwards Fayssoux, 1883; Mary Fayssoux, 1885; Jane Parry, 1886; Caleb, 1889; Eliza Leiper, 1891; George Leiper, 1893; Oliver Parry, 1895; Richard Randolph Parry, 1897; St. Clair Spruill, 1899; Callender Fayssoux, 1901.
In his diaries, Dr. Winslow notes in 1869 that he is 'getting a pretty good knowledge of carving as father is away from nearly every dinner and I have to carve." It would seem that with his multiple professional obligations in addition to an active private practice, Dr. Winslow was seldom at home; nevertheless, he was apparently able to give his family a sense of his responsibility to duty but also a recognition of his devotion to them and his stern regard for their religious and moral upbringing.
In religious affiliation, Dr. Winslow was an active member of the Society of Friends. Politically he was a life long Republican. (National Cyclopedia of American Biography)
During his college days Dr. Winslow was an ardent sportsman, playing cricket, baseball, billiards, croquet, participating in bowling, skating, wrestling, literary societies, going hunting, and attending the theater. He went regularly to religious meeting, and was occasionally involved in playing pranks, visiting with friends and expressing an active interest in pretty girls. With increasing professional and family responsibilities he had less and less leisure time although he maintained his membership in the cricket clubs and at one time was one of Baltimore's crack cricket players.
He remained an active man throughout his life and visited the University regularly up to about 10 days before his death. He died in Baltimore following an illness of one week on February 27, 1937.
His friend and colleague Arthur Shipley wrote the following about him: "During his long service to his fellows he displayed the changing phases of a useful and successful life; the virile and fighting qualities of a young man, the strength and certainty of the maturer man and, after retirement, he unconsciously gave a fine exhibition of how a strong man grows old; showing, qualities of gentleness, kindness, understanding and sympathy with no evidence of bitterness or regret. He continued to take an interest in his profession, his societies, his friends and his school, which made association with him not only an inspiring companionship, but a real joy."