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Recollection of the Early Days of Gross Anatomy at UCLA
C. H. Sawyer, Emeritus Professor of Anatomy
written circa 1994-95 as a slide presentation
edited from original (brackets [ ] for additions and ellipses . . . for deletions)
The MD program at the University of Washington had been in existence for only a couple of years, when Dr. Horace “Ted” Magoun, an internationally well-known neuroanatomist at Northwestern, visited the UW Anatomy Department on his way to plan and organize the Anatomy Department at UCLA. My wife, Bergliot, who was working at UW as a research technician, encountered ‘Ted’ in the hall and responded to his inquiries about me. I had TA’d in his Anatomy Department at Northwestern where he had become aware of my interests and research. Soon after, I received a letter from him asking if I would be interested in joining the Anatomy Department about to emerge at UCLA. I replied, “Sure!” When my internship finished on June 31, 1951, Bergliot and I were on our way to UCLA. We stayed with the Magouns for a few days until finding an apartment.
Tom and Ruth Sawyer arrived a couple of months later. In 1951, Tom delivered the first of any medical school lecture to that class of ~20 students. For the next four years, I was knee deep in lecturing and cadavers in what had been a Religious Conference Building, when the first medical school building was born, into which Gross Anatomy was moved, along with each of our research labs.