Full Department History

By George B. Stoneman, MD

An alumni of our residency program and Adjunct Faculty member in our Department, George Stoneman, MD, has carefully researched the complete history of the USC Caruso Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Click here to download.

The University of Southern California was founded in 1880. The College of Medicine of USC was organized May 2, 1885, and in the spring of 1888, the first class was graduated. Although degrees were granted by USC, the College of Medicine remained independent of the University, funding operations by donations from the faculty and student tuition. Instruction was started in a reconverted winery building at 445 Aliso Street in Los Angeles, which was immediately adjacent to the present 101 freeway. The previous occupant of the building had been the Vache Freres Winery. It was expanded to equip the growing school with laboratories, an outpatient clinic and free dispensary. Students dissected cadavers in the same basement quarters that had once been used as a wine cellar. It was a three-year curriculum, and there were no matriculation requirements — not even a high school education. The entrance examination usually consisted of an oral test in classical languages at the home of the first dean, Dr. Joseph Widney. The total cost of instruction for three years was $315.
George B. Stoneman, MD

George B. Stoneman, MD

The first location of USC College of Medicine

The first location of USC College of Medicine was in an old winery building, located at 445 Aliso Street, Los Angeles.

In 1885 the governor of California was George Stoneman, who was my great-grandfather. He was a retired Civil War Union Major General, who had retired to a 400 acre ranch in San Gabriel, which he named “Los Robles”.

One of the graduates of the medical school class of 1898 was Edward M. Pallette, my wife’s grandfather. He became a prominent general surgeon in Los Angeles, served as president of Los Angeles County Medical Association, and was succeeded in practice by his son and grandson. All three Pallette physicians became chief of the medical staff at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Los Angeles.

In 1895, because the school had outgrown its quarters on Aliso Street, the faculty purchased a lot on Buena Vista Street, now North Broadway, in what today is Chinatown. A modern three-story building was constructed with funds from the faculty, who took out a $20,000 mortgage to pay for it.

The second location of the USC College of Medicine on Buena Vista Street, Los Angeles

The second location of the USC College of Medicine on Buena Vista Street, Los Angeles

When the College of Medicine of USC was opened in 1885, Dr. A. F. Darling was appointed professor of ophthalmology and otology, and attended at the County Hospital, which was founded in 1878. In 1889, Dr. William Babcock was appointed professor of nose and throat, and in 1893 became chief of the clinic at the County Hospital. Dr. Hill Hastings was appointed professor of otology in 1908. He served as chair of the ENT department for one or two years and then became affiliated with the University of California (see below).

Hill Hastings, MD, USC College of Medicine

In 1908, facing financial difficulties, the College of Medicine affiliation was transferred to the University of California. The mortgage was paid off, and faculty members paid off the remainder of the debt from their own pockets. The medical students objected to this arrangement because the first two years of instruction were held in Berkeley and the second two years in Los Angeles. USC looked for a new affiliation. Dr. Hill Hastings changed his affiliation to the new UC School, which eventually closed in 1914.

In 1909, the College of Physicians and Surgeons, a second medical school established in Los Angeles in 1904, became affiliated with the University of Southern California. The merger was facilitated by USC President George Finley Bovard, a graduate of USC’s first class. Once the trustees agreed, the new College of Physicians and Surgeons, Medical Department of USC was ready for the fall term. The school location was moved to the College of Medicine headquarters, 516 E. Washington Street. The dean of the USC Medical School was Charles W. Bryson, MD. There were two Otolaryngology faculty members listed at that time:

  • William Leander Zuill, MD, Pasadena, CA, Professor of Otology, Laryngology and Rhinology
  • George Jesse Lund, MD, Associate Professor of ORL, 414-417 Auditorium Bldg.

The course was four years. The tuition was $150 per year.

For the next several years the USC School of Medicine had the same framework and location, being affiliated with the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. William Zuill was listed as chair of the ENT department from 1909—1915, and Dr. John Kyle was chair of the ENT department from 1915—1919.

In 1912, tuition was still $150 per year and Dr. Bryson remained as dean. Room and board was listed as $20 per month. Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology was listed as “a Department in the Division of Surgery and the Surgical Specialties”. There were 26 members of the Senior Class. There were 60 hours of clinic and instruction in ORL during the third and fourth years.

Location of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Medical Department of USC from 1909 to 1919. In 1920 the school closed due to financial difficulties, and reopened in 1928. (see below)

In 1913 two courses were added: History of Medicine, and Medical Ethics and Economics. The senior class had 27 members, all male. The school of medicine had 126 members, and the curriculum remained at four years. The class included Simon Jesberg, who later became professor of Otolaryngology, and developed an outstanding national reputation in the field of laryngology and bronchoscopy. Dr. Jesberg founded the Los Angeles Eye & Ear Hospital in 1922, and had a new facility built for the hospital near the Good Samaritan Hospital at 5th Street and Lucas Avenue in 1927. He practiced at the L.A. Eye and Ear Hospital with his son Norman Jesberg and other ENT physicians, including Dr. Alden Miller, who later became chair of the ENT department at USC.

Simon Jesberg

Simon Jesberg, MD

L.A. Eye & Ear Hospital Cornerstone

L.A. Eye & Ear Hospital Cornerstone

Norman Jesberg, MD

Norman Jesberg, MD

In 1914 the USC School of Medicine had 36 graduates, including one woman. One year of college was required for admission, and the tuition remained the same, at $150 per year.

In 1915 the school of medicine was in the same location, with the instructors giving 60 hours of instruction over the third and fourth years. The faculty remained the same, with the addition of John J. Kyle, MD, who was listed as the chairman of the ENT department.

In 1916 the same three professors were listed. There was a major change in requirement for admission: two years of college were required. The curriculum was changed from two semesters to three trimesters. ENT was listed as a Division of Surgery (Division VII—Surgery and Surgical Specialties, (d) Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology). Simon H. Jesberg, MD, a graduate of the class of 1913, was listed as an instructor. His practice location was listed as 807 E. 21st Street, Los Angeles.

In 1917 the school of medicine was at the same location, with the same four instructors—Drs. Zuill, Lund, Kyle and Jesberg. Tuition was $200 per year, and 84 hours of ENT instruction were given to third and fourth year students. There was no major change until 1920.

In 1920, due to the inability to secure adequate financial support, the USC School of Medicine was discontinued.

In May, 1928, the present School of Medicine was established by the Board of Trustees as an integral part of the University. It was ordered that the School of Medicine be administered by the Board of Trustees, the President of the University, and the all-University committees on Admissions, Curriculum, and Scholarship in the same manner as the other schools and colleges of the University. The responsibility for appointments to the teaching staff and for the administration of regulations governing the classification of students was vested in a committee appointed by the Board of Trustees of the University.

On September 17, 1928, the School of Medicine admitted a freshman class of 54 students. Each subsequent year, with the exception of 1930-31, an additional class was admitted, until in 1932-33 the complete four year curriculum was available and the first class graduated.

In 1934 the school of medicine was organized into Departments. One department was Surgery—including surgical specialties. ENT was a division of the Department of Surgery. The Division chair was Clinical Professor John MacKenzie Brown, MD, who practiced at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles for many years. He later took an associate, Harold M. E. Boyd, MD, who joined the clinical faculty. I joined Dr. Boyd in 1975, and was his partner in practice until he retired in the late 1970’s.

Dr. John MacKenzie Brown received his MD degree from the University of Western Ontario Medical School in 1899. He was an instructor in Otolaryngology at the Los Angeles Department of University of California (which later became UCLA) from 1909-1915. He had been affiliated with USC since 1931 as Clinical Professor. Because of his rank of professor, he was the head of the ENT Division. He remained as chair of the ENT Division until 1951.

John MacKenzie Brown, MD

John MacKenzie Brown, MD

J. M. Brown, MD, at Good Samaritan Hospital

J. M. Brown, MD, at Good Samaritan Hospital

Hill Hastings, MD, was listed in 1934 as Professor Emeritus. Sometime between 1928 and 1931 Dr. Hastings was chair of the ENT Division. Dr. Hastings also practiced at Good Samaritan Hospital, and was the first chair of the medical staff at that hospital. Other members of the USC teaching staff at that time were Associate Clinical Professors Detling, Jesberg, Jones, Lewis and Linthicum, Sr. Instructors were Drs. Barnard, Bowman, Semenov and Viole.

In 1935 Drs. Hastings and Brown were listed the same, as emeritus professor and professor. The Dean of the medical school was Paul S. McKibben, BS, PhD, LLD, Professor of Anatomy. He remained Dean until 1942 or 1943, when Seeley G. Mudd, MD, became Dean.

In 1936, Dr. Hastings was no longer listed, Dr. Brown remained as Clinical Professor, and Alden H. Miller, MD, was listed as “Assistant”. In 1939 and 1941 Dr. Hastings was again listed as Emeritus Professor. Dr. J. M. Brown was Clinical Professor, so was still the Chair of the ENT Division.

The 1940-1941 USC School of Medicine Bulletin listed Paul S. McKibben, PhD, Professor of Anatomy, as the school dean. The professors were the same, with J. M. Brown listed as clinical professor. For the first time Howard P. House, MD, was listed as an instructor in the ENT Division. Drs. House and Miller were listed as instructors until 1949, with Dr. J. M. Brown remaining as clinical professor.

In 1949, with Dr. Brown still head of the division of ENT, Drs. House and Miller were Associate Clinical Professors. Two instructors were Harold M. E. Boyd, MD, and Norman Jesberg, MD. Dr. Boyd had joined the practice of Dr. J. M. Brown, having trained in Canada and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital. As mentioned above, I joined Dr. Boyd in his office in 1975, becoming the third generation in the practice. Dr. Norman Jesberg was the son of Simon Jesberg, who previously was associate clinical professor. Norman and Simon Jesberg practiced together for a while at the Los Angeles Eye and Ear Hospital, and the nearby Good Samaritan Hospital.

Frederick H. Linthicum Sr., MD

Frederick H. Linthicum, MD, became Associate Clinical Professor in the ENT division in 1931, and was listed in the roster during the 1940’s. He was the father of Frederick H. Linthicum, Jr., who practiced for many decades with the House Ear Clinic, and continues his research in temporal bone pathology at UCLA. Dr. Linthicum Sr. trained at Loyola College in Baltimore, and received his MD degree at Johns Hopkins University in 1917. He was an instructor at Johns Hopkins from 1918-20, and joined the clinical faculty at USC in 1931.

Pierre Viole, MD, was on the clinical faculty beginning in the 1930’s. He received his MD degree from USC in 1919, one year before the school was discontinued for eight years. He was appointed associate clinical professor in 1935. After his retirement he continued to attend local meetings, and in the 1970’s I volunteered to drive him to various events, since we were neighbors.

Dr. J. MacKenzie Brown continued as Clinical Professor and head of the division until 1951. At that time Howard House, MD, was listed as Clinical Professor and became head of the division. Dr. Alden Miller was Associate Clinical Professor, and Victor Goodhill was Assistant Clinical Professor. Drs. Boyd and N. Jesberg were instructors, and Dr. Brown was Emeritus.

Howard House, MD, received his AB degree at Whittier College in 1930. He then went to USC School of Medicine, graduating in 1935. After traveling extensively in Europe for further training, he joined the Moore White Clinic, a small multi-specialty group, at 511 South Bonnie Brae Street in Los Angeles. The clinic subsequently moved to West Third Street, and the group was later disbanded. He went on to start the House Ear Clinic, and the rest is history. He became Clinical Professor and head of the ENT division in 1951. Dr. House remained as head of the division until 1961. He was replaced by Alden Miller, MD. Both Drs. House and Miller were Clinical Professors at that time.

Howard P. House, MD

Alden H. Miller, MD, received his undergraduate education at USC, graduating in 1927. Because the School of Medicine had been discontinued in 1920, he was unable to continue his education at USC. He received his MD, at Rush Medical College in 1933, and immediately joined the clinical faculty at USC. He was listed as Instructor during the 1930’s, and rapidly rose through the ranks, becoming Clinical Professor and head of the ENT section in 1962.

Alden H. Miller, MD

Alden H. Miller, MD

Dr. Miller performing laryngoscopy

Dr. Miller performing laryngoscopy

In the 1950’s when Dr. House was head of the ENT division and Dr. Miller was clinical professor, another clinical professor was Victor Goodhill, who later became a renowned otologist. Drs. House, Miller and Goodhill established Salerni Collegium in 1958. It became the alumni support group for the medical school and medical students. It originally raised funds to support the Dean, faculty and loan funds for students. Over the years it has evolved into one of the biggest medical support and networking groups in the nation. Today it provides scholarships for medical students, supports the white coat ceremony, shadow and mentoring programs, student wellness, student tailgates, med-olympics and graduation. It is now known as the Salerni Collegium Alumni Association. All Keck School of Medicine graduates, former residents of LAC-USC, faculty, parents who share mission to support medical education are members.

In 1961 the president of USC was Norman Topping, MD, and the medical school dean was Clayton Loosli, MD. Tuition was $1200 per year. Alden Miller, MD, became head of the ENT division in 1962, and other clinical professors were Drs. House and Hunnicutt. Drs. Linthicum Sr. and Viole were listed as emeritus clinical professors. William F. House, MD, was assistant clinical professor, along with Fred Linthicum Jr.

In 1961 the Health Sciences Campus consisted of three buildings. The Raulston Medical Research building, completed in 1952, was the first structure built. It housed the administrative offices of the school of medicine, had a small diagnostic clinic where members of the faculty could see ambulatory patients referred for consultation. This was the only place where faculty could treat ambulatory patients, outside of the County Hospital. The two story Paul S. McKibben Hall, completed in 1960, had the multidisciplinary laboratories (MDL) that are still used today by the first and second year medical students. The six story Seeley W. Mudd Memorial Laboratory was also completed in 1960, with research labs for the basic sciences. The medical library was located in a temporary Quonset hut next to the new structures. The four story Seaver Student Residence Hall was completed in 1963.


The Raulston, McKibben and Mudd buildings in 1961, the first three structures on the campus

The Raulston, McKibben and Mudd buildings in 1961, the first three structures on the campus

In 1963 tuition at the medical school was raised to $1400 per year. There were only 10 scholarships available. Several loan funds were available to students, including the fund created by Salerni Collegium.

In 1965 Dr. Topping was president of USC, and Roger Egeberg, MD, became dean of the medical school. Clinical professor Alden Miller was listed as Chair of the Otolaryngology Section of Surgery. Tuition was again raised, to $1700 per year. For the first time, there were full-time professors in the ENT section: two audiologists, Victor Garwood, PhD, and William Perkins, PhD. The other clinical faculty, as before, were voluntary, receiving no remuneration.

In 1965 Clay Whitaker, MD, joined the ENT faculty as full-time Associate Professor, in charge of the training of ENT residents at LAC-USC Medical Center. His office and the ENT Department headquarters were on the fourth floor of LAC-USC. The only other “full-time” faculty were four audiologists and one speech pathologist. At this time there were dozens of associate and assistant clinical professors, and instructors, including all of the members of the House Ear Clinic.

In the late 1960’s the medical school campus expanded. The Elaine Stevely Hoffman Medical Research Center, on Zonal Avenue, was completed in 1968, along with the Norris Medical Library. In 1969 two new full-time instructors were added to the ENT teaching faculty: Assistant professors Robert Keim and William Simpson. They, along with Dr. Whitaker, taught medical students and ENT residents at LAC-USC. Dr. Topping remained as USC president, and Franz Bauer, MD, was listed as interim dean of the medical school. He was appointed dean, and served until 1974, when he was replaced by Allen W. Mathies, MD. Dr. Mathies remained dean until 1985.

In 1970 there were two support groups for the school of medicine. The USC Medical Alumni Association supported the school with 2200 living alumni. Salerni Collegium, founded in 1958, supported professorships, preceptorships and special projects. Membership was by donation, and included 1176 physicians and laymen. Years later the two organizations were combined, creating Salerni Collegium Alumni Association. The new organization is open to all alumni, former residents, parents and friends, with no dues requirement. Because Salerni Collegium was founded by three otolaryngologists, many former ENT residents and students have held leadership positions. I served as president of Salerni Collegium in 2003—2004. The medical school tuition in 1972 was raised to $2800 per year, increasing the need to raise funds for scholarships.

In 1973 Otolaryngology became its own independent department in the medical school, and was no longer a division in the department of surgery. From then on it was referred to as the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery.

Alden Miller, MD, stepped down as chairman of the department in 1983. He had served in this position since 1962, without remuneration, as did his predecessors.

Dale H. Rice, MD was named chair of the department in 1983, and served with distinction for thirty years, until 2013. Dr. Rice attended medical school and performed his residency in otolaryngology at the University of Michigan. He was a faculty member at UCLA from 1976 to 1983. He is widely published, and has held various executive positions with Otolaryngology societies. His areas of interest in patient care include rhinology, sinus disease and head and neck cancer.

Dale H. Rice, MD

In July 1999, it was announced that the W.M. Keck Foundation donated $110 million to the school of medicine to build research labs, hire preeminent faculty and provide student scholarships. This was the largest philanthropic gift ever made to a U.S. medical school. From that day forward, the school was renamed the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

After being selected from a group of more than 50 highly qualified candidates in 2013, John K. Niparko, MD, was named chair of the Otolaryngology—HNS department. In his three years at USC, Dr. Niparko led the department’s ascent to the top 10 departments of otolaryngology research funding in the country, expanded its faculty and clinical services, and provided timely treatments and services to adults, children and their families. An internationally renowned otologic surgeon and researcher, he received many awards during his career, and authored countless articles and books.

He came to USC from Johns Hopkins University, where he had been professor and director of the division of otology, neurotology and skull base surgery. From 2009 to 2012, he had served as interim director of the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins, which since 1998 had been ranked number one in ear, nose and throat care in the nation by US News & World Report.

John Niparko, M.D.

John Niparko, MD

In 2015, because of the assistance given to their daughter with hearing loss by Dr. Niparko and members of his department, USC Trustee Rick J. Caruso and his wife, Tina donated $25 million to endow and name the USC Tina and Rick Caruso Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery. With this transformational gift, the department is able to build on its advances in research and patient care. With regional and national recruits, Dr. Niparko founded and directed the newly named USC Caruso Family Center for Childhood Communication. The center assists more than 5000 children and their families with hearing conditions and disease.

In April, 2016, Dr. Niparko passed away suddenly, creating a void in the department. Dennis Maceri, MD, was appointed interim chair, and a search was started for a permanent chair. After a nation-wide search, John S. Oghalai was recruited to serve as the new chair of the USC Tina and Rick Caruso Department of Otolaryngology—HNS, effective August 1, 2017. Dr. Oghalai had been a professor in the Department of Otolaryngology—HNS at Stanford University School of Medicine since 2010. He also was the director of the Stanford Children’s Hearing Center. He received his medical degree at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, took his residency training at Baylor College of Medicine, with a subspecialty fellowship in neurotology and skull base surgery at University of California San Francisco. His current research interests, which he will continue at USC, include a prospective trial in pediatric cochlear implant recipients, translational research in imaging of the cochlea and the auditory cortex in human subjects, and basic science research in the fundamental mechanisms of cochlear physiology.

John S. Oghalai, MD

In the past 50 years, tuition at the school of medicine has far surpassed the index of inflation. In 1965 tuition for one year of medical school at USC was $1700. For student starting in 2018, medical school tuition is listed as $59,122. That is 35 times more than the 1965 tuition. Approximately 80 percent of students receive financial assistance through scholarships, fellowships and student loans. In spite of this assistance, many students graduate from medical school with more than $200,000 debt. The Development Department is committed to help raise funds for scholarships to lessen the burden of student loans.

An additional source of funding for unanticipated financial needs is available to Keck medical students through the generosity of Physicians Aid Association (PAA), a Los Angeles County based non-profit organization. PAA has granted funds to the Dean of Student Affairs to be used at the discretion of that office to help students with unanticipated emergencies, such as family emergencies, illness, housing issues, travel, etc. Students need to contact the Office of Student Affairs to learn more about this service. Over the past ten years, PAA has granted more than $100,000 to the Keck School of Medicine to be used at the discretion of the Office of Student Affairs.

Today the Keck School of Medicine of USC enrolls 762 students. These come from a pool of applicants numbering over 8000 for admission into the first year class. The Admissions Office each year screens all applicants, inviting many for interviews, and selects approximately 185 highly qualified students for each class.
As Dean Stephen J. Ryan, MD, said in 2004:

The Keck School of Medicine of USC has made great strides from its humble beginnings. We approach the future with confidence, buoyed by the certainty that the work we do today will yield great accomplishments tomorrow.

George B. Stoneman, MD, 2017
george.stoneman@med.usc.edu

usc medical campus 1961

Aerial view of the USC School of Medicine campus in 1961, showing L.A. County Hospital, Pediatric and Psychiatric buildings, Unit II (lower left), and the three buildings of the medical school, Raulston, McKibben and Mudd. The library was in the two Quonset huts just below the three buildings.

usc hospital 1961

Looking north from the Mudd building in 1961, viewing the future site of USC University Hospital

USC OTOLARYNGOLOGY CHAIRMEN 1885—PRESENT. SUMMARY

USC College of Medicine (1885—1909)
F. Darling, MD. 1885—1895. Professor of Ophthalmology and Otology
W. D. Babcock, MD.
1889—1896. Professor of Nose and Throat
1896—1908. Professor of Ear, Nose and Throat
Hill Hastings, MD. 1908—1909

College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Medical Department of USC (1909—1919)
William Leander Zuill, MD. 1909—1915
John Kyle, MD. 1915—1919

USC School of Medicine (1928—present)
Hill Hastings, MD. ?1928—1931
J. MacKenzie Brown, MD. 1931—1951
Howard P. House, MD. 1951—1962
Alden H. Miller, MD. 1962—1983 *
Dale H. Rice, MD. 1983—2013 **
John Niparko, MD. 2013—2016
John S. Oghalai, MD. 2017—present

*In 1973, Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery became a separate department, no longer a division of Surgery.

**In 1999 the medical school was renamed Keck School of Medicine of USC.

REFERENCES

  • Bulletin of the University of Southern California School of Medicine, 1909—1990. Located in the Norris Medical Library, USC School of Medicine, Rare Books section, 2nd floor.
  • Good Samaritan Hospital Archives, Los Angeles; photos of USC and Good Samaritan Hospital otolaryngologists.
  • Gray, Barbara Bronson, 120 Years of Medicine, Los Angeles County 1871—1991. Pioneer Publications, Inc., Mission Viejo, CA and Houston, Texas, 1991.
  • Lifton, Sarah, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California—Trials and Transformation. Greenwich Publishing Group, Connecticut, 2004.
  • Martin, Helen Eastman, The History of the Los Angeles County Hospital (1878—1968) and the LAC—USC Medical Center (1968—1978. USC Press, Los Angeles, 1979. Chapter 18, pp. 88-92, “Medical Schools and the County Hospital (1885—1933); Chapter 69, pp. 410-419, “Otolaryngology and Oral Surgery”.
  • Stoneman, George B., photos taken during 1961, his first year at USC School of Medicine.
  • USC Otolaryngology Department History, from keck.usc.edu website, using photos and background information