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Oral History Interview - Dr. Hugh Arnold (interview 1)

https://collections.galtmuseum.com/en/permalink/descriptions3099
Date Range
1994
Description Level
Fonds
Material Type
Recording
Accession No.
19931081168
Physical Description
1 audio cassette (digital file)
Scope and Content
The following transcript was prepared by Donna Kampen. Q Dr. Arnold, Your full name is.. A: Hugh Alexander Arnold Q: And your present address.. A: Apartment 109 - 2207 - 8th Avenue South, Lethbridge Q: And you were born in... A: Born in Nanaimo, British Columbia, July 26,1910 Q: Your Father's ful…
Material Type
Recording
Date Range
1994
Fonds
Dr. Hugh Arnold fonds
Description Level
Fonds
Physical Description
1 audio cassette (digital file)
Physical Condition
Excellent
History / Biographical
Dr. Arnold donated his papers to the Galt Museum and Archives in September 1993, with the provision that they be available for an independent study project done by University of Lethbridge student Donna Kampen, under the supervision of Professor Bill Baker of the Department of History. Donna Kampen organized Dr. Arnold's papers conducted a series of oral history interviews (8 audio cassettes) with Dr. Arnold.
Scope and Content
The following transcript was prepared by Donna Kampen. Q Dr. Arnold, Your full name is.. A: Hugh Alexander Arnold Q: And your present address.. A: Apartment 109 - 2207 - 8th Avenue South, Lethbridge Q: And you were born in... A: Born in Nanaimo, British Columbia, July 26,1910 Q: Your Father's full name? A: Herman Anton Arnold Q: And your mother's full name? A: Annie Reid Dick Q: How many brothers and sisters did you have? A: One brother. His name is William Herman Arnold. .My father's name was Herman. My brother's name was William Herman Arnold...He went by the name of "Bill", of course. He was three years younger than me, and he's now living in Edmonton. Uh...Do you want anymore? I also have two brothers from my father's second marriage. Q: Sure, that's alright... A: He's married, he has a son who's a radiologist, with a specialty in...um...what do you call it...radiological...um... Q: Just leave it...it will come to you...in about five minutes it will pop into your mind. A: Yeah. Nuclear radiology. Q Did you have any other relatives living with you when you were a child, or was it just your mother, your father, your brother and yourself? A: We were...As I say, I was born in, Nanaimo. My mother's family had come over from Scotland. They had lived in a small place very close to Stevenson, in the Lowlands of Scotland. My mother had come out with her father and mother. Her father was a miner, in the coal mines, in Nanaimo. He had a responsible position...! forget what they called him at that time..."pit boss". Mother had the profession of nursing, in Nanaimo, and graduated, and then did post graduate nursing in Nanaimo, and married my father. It was 1908. My father had come west from Cookstown, in Ontario, which is about 40 miles north of Toronto, and he was a bookkeeper...described as a bookkeeper. Now I guess they call them accountants. Q Yes. A: And, he was located in Nanaimo, in his profession, and met my mother there, and...as I say...I was raised in Nanaimo until about 1912, when I would be two years old, and then my father and mother moved with me to Vancouver. We lived in Vancouver, then, until the early 20fs. My father was overseas in the First World War, became a Sergeant Major, was located most of the four years in London, in England. Rejoined the Canadian Army Medical Corps February 3,1915. He was discharged from the army on May 17,1919. My mother did a lot of special duty nursing. We lived very close to Hastings...what we called Hasting Park, within two blocks of Hastings Park, which was at that time sort of a mustering area, for troops who were going and coming from the west coast to Europe...in the war. My father, in 1919, at the end of the war came home, and in seeking work, found a job which took him to Calgary, with an oil company on June 12,1922. It was called "Canadian Oil Company". White Rose Gas, it was later. I think it was in about 1921, my father established himself in Calgary. He and my mother and my brother and I, we took the train from Vancouver to Calgary, and we established our residence there. Q: That was in 1921? A: No, on March 8, 1922 my mother, brother and I arrived in Calgary. Father met us there. He had been working in Alberta selling farm equipment. I remember leaving Vancouver in I think it was early March. And it had been raining for at least three or four weeks, steady. Steady! And we got on this train, and went on to Calgary. And in Calgary, it was, I think, about 30 below zero. And it was the first time we had been in any cold of that nature. But there was blue sky, and there was the sun, and I never wanted to go back to Vancouver after that day. Q: Really? A: And I've been a prairie flower ever since. Q: Have you? A: (laughs) Q: When your father was overseas and your mother did special duty nursing, who looked after you and your brother? A: We pretty well looked after ourselves, as a matter of fact. You see, I was born in '10, and I was starting to school when I would probably be five or six, and we lived very close to what was called Hastings Schopl at that time. And Mother would nurse, usually during the day, and she'd be home at night. It wasn't a matter of nursing in the hospital. She did the nursing in homes. She was able to manage that pretty well, as a matter of fact. We moved from Pandora Street to ..We made about two or three moves after we left the vicinity of Hastings Park, but always stayed in East Vancouver. Q: Did you live in houses or apartments? A: We lived in...The first three homes I lived in were in houses...and then we moved down to the corner of...I think it was Hastings street and real close to Commercial Drive at one time, and then our last move was down to an apartment on Hastings street, very close to what we used to call...I think it was the Georgia Viaduct. We rented an apartment in those days, and that was the place we lived. And then we moved to Calgary. One other thing that...Well we did live in an apartment then. And I had a dog! Q: You did? A: A collie dog. We called him Sandy. He was just a beautiful dog. But it was interesting, the way we would keep this dog in an apartment. And not run afoul of the landlady. And I'll never forget one occasion. We lived right across the street from a barber shop. I had a pretty good head of hair, then, as I do now. I went in one day...a Saturday...and asked the barber to take his slippers and clip all my hair off. And it took me five or ten minutes to convince the barber that this was going to be alright with my mother. And I don't know why I did it. But he did what I requested. And when I went home and my mother saw me, she just about had a fit. Why I did that. Why did I ever do that, (laughs) I'll never forget. During those years I had a paper route. I used to help deliver what was at that time called, I guess, The Sun. It was a morning paper, on weekends. During the week, in the evening, I delivered a paper that was called The World. It and The Province were the two daily papers of any consequence. I had a paper route...The World printing press was...on the corner of Richard's Street and Hastings, downtown...! used to go...I'd take my bicycle and I'd go down and pick up my papers. And I had one street that I delivered on. That was Richards Street. The length of Richards Street from Hastings right through to almost False Creek, I guess you would call it. And all I did was just ride up Richards and deliver papers. It was a very nice experience. I took music lessons. I had a teacher right on Richards Street. I would deliver my papers and take my lessons from my teacher. Q: What instrument? A: Piano Q Did you like piano lessons? A: I liked them very much. I never accomplished what I should have, but I enjoyed it very much. And I always feel very...I like to encourage young people to take any kind...whatever music they have an opportunity...to take it. And to practice, (laughs) Q How old were your parents when you were born? A: You know, I should find that out. And I'm sure I can. I think my mother...! can find this out. I know their ages at death. Q Or the year that they died. A: My mother died on April 6, in Calgary of a stroke. She was buried in Vancouver in the family plot She was a young woman. Q: Yes. A: My father died at 85, in Victoria He married a second time on January 31,1930 to Eunice and had a second family. They had two boys, again, Charles and Bruce. They are still living in Victoria. I stayed in the home while I went to University, and after graduation moved to my own home. Q Lets talk a little about the schools you attended. You went to Hastings school...? A: Yes, Hastings School, they called it. Q: I just want to talk a little bit about your early school life. What was your favorite subject...Do you remember? What were you best at? A: Oh...I liked arithmetic, and geography...and history. Those three subjects, particularly history and geography have been long suits of mine. I enjoyed them very much. And that carried right through, through high school, and through my university years. I took an arts degree before I went into medicine, and it the arts program I took as much history as I could. Q: Did you have a favorite teacher? A: In school? Q Yes A: I guess I would have to say that the teacher who I recall best was at Seymour School, in East Vancouver, closer into...near Main Street. My teacher, in grade six, I guess it was,.. Yes I would have to say she probably was a teacher who I found very interesting. There was a group of us who I think were rather...difficult children, from the point of view of mischief...not doing what the teacher wanted us to do. And she was most tolerant and patient and kind. And I had good reason for...through the years...to appreciate her. Q: Did you belong to any clubs or organized groups? Did you belong to the Boy Scouts? A: I never belonged to the Boy Scouts. My mother, of course, was Presbyterian, by virtue of her Scottish background, and we belonged to a Presbyterian church, which was located on Hastings Street, about a block east of Main Street. And I remember, Yes, I attended Sunday School there, and really enjoyed it very much. When we moved to Alberta, my parents became affiliated with the Sunday (I forget what its called) the Sunday ...anyway, it was Mr. Aberhart's Sunday Prophetic Bible Conference. They met in the old Palace Theatre, just west of First Street, on Eighth Avenue. At three O'clock on Sunday afternoons, Mr. Aberhart would preach. My parents became affiliated with the Calgary Prophetic Bible Conference of Mr. Aberhart. He was a member of a Baptist church which was called Westbourne Baptist. And the minister at that church was the Reverend E. G. Hansell. My brother and I, and my parents, were baptized at that church. As I say, Mr. Aberhart, that was his, sort of his, home church. Mr. Hansell joined Mr. Aberhart when they eventually became interested in Social Credit, and were elected to the legislature. Mr. Hansell was a member of the Legislature when Mr. Aberhart was the Premier. Q: Just back into your childhood here a little. Do you remember any of the games that you played...things that you did for fun when you were a child. You had the dog... A: I had the dog, yes, for sure. I guess the games, they would all be games that we could sort of make up among the young fellows, the young people, in the vicinity. We were what... 12-14 years old? Run Chief Run, and things of that kind, tag, and so on. I played baseball in Hastings school when I was in grade one, two and three. I'll never forget the day I was playing first base...very proud of myself...I had the glove on one hand, and was catching balls with the other, like this. The fellow at home base hit the ball, it went to the short stop, he threw the ball right to the first baseman, which was me. I had this hand with the glove like this, and the other like this, it came right between them and got me. (laughs) Q Did you like to read as a child? A: I didn't read a lot...No...not until I got a little older did I start my interest in reading. Q: Did you belong to a library? Do you remember ever going to a public library? A: Yes, we had the...the main library in the city of Vancouver was at the corner of Main and Hastings, and I wasn't that far from it. It was a library which had been funded by ..Oh who funded those libraries?...a great industrialist...? Q Carnegie? A: Ah yes. Carnegie. It was called the Carnegie Library. Yes, I used to go in there, and use the books. Q: Did you read fiction? Or were you more interested in finding out about things? A: More current types of things...things that the school would prompt. Q: When you started high school...you would have been in Calgary by that time. A: Yes, Calgary. Q: Do you remember the name of the high school? A: Yes, I took my schooling...In Calgary, we lived on 11th Street and 12th Avenue, and I went to what was called Connaught School. I started there in grade 6 and then my parents moved to South Calgary, about 32nd Avenue and about the 1700 block. And there I went to what was called King Edward School, and I was in grade seven and eight there. My principal was a man by the name of Florendine, and he was, to me, an excellent teacher. In grade eight he gave me every opportunity, and he was sort of going on beyond just what he was teaching, stimulated me in reading, and I was, he asked me if I would take the examination for what was called the R. B. Bennett scholarship at the end of grade eight, which I did, and won it. That was for having the highest marks in grade eight, and I remember Mr. Bennett, this was before he was prime minister of Canada, he was a lawyer in Calgary then, and I remember him coming to the school after I had left King Edward, and coming back to receive my award from him, and it was a great honour. Q: Your parents must have been very proud of you. A: Very proud. My mother was very proud. My dad was very busy making a living, but he was very proud, too. I was a great day in my life. Q Did you mother work as a nurse in Calgary, too? A: No, not after we got to Calgary. We lived in South Calgary, as I said, near King Edward School up around Thirty-second Avenue. We had a reunion just this last fall, of the medical class of 1938, and after the reunion we drove past the old house, and the part of the city that we lived in then. Q: Do you remember your neighbours.. .did you live there a long time? A: Not too long. I would say I was there in grade seven and grade eight, and when I was ready for grade nine, my father, who had left the oil company, the Canadian Oil Company, and now accepted an appointment with a bakery, called the Model Bakery. This was on October 30, 1923. He was the sales Manager. That was located over in Hillhurst, which is on the north side of the Bow River, west of 109th street. West of the Louise bridge, and it was quite a distance. It was, really, so we moved from south Calgary to Hillhurst. We lived in two or three different houses, until my father settled in Hillhurst, out along the Bow River, near what is now called the Bowness Trail. My mother's health was not good. She had hypertension, and had trouble for several years, and by the time I was in, I guess about grade eleven, she died. She was young, she was 42. We continued to live out in this particular area of Hillhurst and I went to what was then High School, and Mr. Aberhart was the principal of the High School. And the high school was Crescent Heights High School. The school was an old sandstone building. The name of the school originally just slips my mind, but it was Crescent Heights. And I attended that school for four years. Q: Grades nine through twelve? A: Yes, nine, ten, eleven and twelve. And then when I finished grade twelve I went to normal school in Calgary. Normal School at that time was just at the top of the hill, over the Louise Bridge on 9th Street Up at the top of the hill there was the Normal School and what is now SAIT. It was then called the Technical School. Normal School was in that cluster of buildings. I took Normal School for a year after I finished grade twelve. Q: Did you want to be a teacher? A: Yes I did. Yup. My father, in the meantime had been offered a position to manage Canadian Bakeries, which is the old 4X, in Edmonton on March 28, 1929. So he moved to Edmonton (my mother had died), and I and my brother Bill moved to Edmonton with him after I finished Normal School. I'd won a scholarship from Normal School to take summer school in Phys-Ed at the University of Alberta so I took that. And interviewed for schools...things were beginning to get a little tough. Q: You would have been 19..20 then? A: I was about 19. Q: This would have been 1929. A: Yes, 1929. I got a school at an Indian...A school that was operated jointly by the Federal Government and the United Church. And it was located about four miles north of the old Dunvegin station, which is just on the Northern limits of Edmonton., Four miles north. It was on what they called Waterways...Northern Alberta Railroad. It was a residential school for Indian children. Operated, jointly , as I say, between the federal government and the United Church. The principal, his name was Dr. J. S. Woodsworth. I think that...I'm not sure of the initials. But his brother was J. F. Woodsworth, who was the originator of the CCF Party in Winnipeg. I taught at that school, and there were three of us teachers, grades one and two, and then three, four and five, and I had those three grades, and then six, seven and eight, by another teacher. And then things began to get. economically very difficult. Actually, along with our teaching responsibilities at this school, we used to have to conduct church services sometimes., just a little story, that sort of thing on a Sunday. But I lived within four miles of the city of Edmonton, and it was easy to get to where my father lived. And he had in the meantime remarried Eunice Whidden. At the end of that year of teaching, things were getting much tougher. They amalgamated the junior and the senior teachers' classes, and this eliminated my class. So I had no school. This was in 1929. Q: How much money did you make teaching? A: $100 a month. Cash. On the barrel head. And I got my room and board. Q That was a pretty good wage. A: Yes, I thought it was very good, (laughs) Q: You probably felt pretty flush. A: I was really quite well fixed. Because, you know, I could buy a suit at Tip Top with two pair of pants for $27. Q: And your room and board was paid for? A: Yes. Q: Did you save some? A: Nah...not very much, (laughs) At the end of the year when I was, as I say, I was out of a job. I wrote and drove my father's car to many school Board meetings, and trips to School Boards, or Chairmen of School Boards in various little towns. I went all over that North country, just trying to get a school, and I never got a school. At the beginning of September. My father said to me...I'll never forget this...one day at supper time he said: "you can't sit around here and do nothing. Go over to that institution on the other side of the river." Q: That was the University of Alberta A: Uhuh. I'd never been at the University, you see. Only Normal School. So I did. I went over and I registered in Arts. I took Arts for three years. I got my degree and then decided to go into medicine. Q: What was your degree in? A: It was just a general arts, but I took mostly history. Q: I guess it would be the equivalent of a history major now. A: I took history. I had to take certain basics. A language. I had my eye on medicine. I wasn't sure, but I knew I had to have physics, which I didn't get in high school, I had to have Latin, which I took in grade 11, got 13 in the exam at Christmas, quit it, and rued the day. Because I had to take it again to get into medicine. (Laughs) And I also had to have a language. So those were three requisites that I had to have. So when I got there, I took German, and a history course, and botany, I think it was, and chemistry. Q: How much was your tuition when you went back to University? A: Not much. I think my tuition in those first three years was in the neighbourhood of $130 per year. Q: Did you have that money saved? Or did your father help you? A: I worked in the summer every year when I was at the University, and earned enough to pay my tuition and buy my books. I paid nothing at home. I lived at home. Q: How much did your books cost? A: Oh gee. The books...Most of my books I bought used. And they weren't very much. No they weren't very much. Q. When you think about your childhood...your early life...what images spring to your mind? Were there any times or incidents that bring back particularly vivid memories for you? A: Yes...Yes. I recall my mother's father and mother and family very well. I didn't know my father's family so well...they were in the East. But my mother's family were Scottish, and the Scottish people are clannish, you know. They take care of their families you know. And she had three brothers. They were in the clothing business on Hastings Street, down near what we call the B.C. Electric. They were astute businessmen and they did very, very well. They were very kind to us. My mother's father and mother lived on Robson street down around English Bay. In that district. And that was a great place to go and visit. We'd walk there, my brother and I. And if we were tired, they'd tell us to lie down in front of the fire and go to sleep. They'd feed us. It was a wonderful experience to visit there. Yes, they were highlights. Thinking about..we lived not far from where the Second Narrows Bridge is now, if you know Burrard Inlet? Well, We were relatively close, therefore, to the water. And there were as lot of mills, lumber mills, with their lumber in the water, you know the mills where they cut the lumber out, and we used to go down there, and when I think about how we'd walk on these big logs in the water... How we didn't get ourselves drowned I'll never know, (laughs) I'll never forget...one episode...I'll never forget, I had this friend, how I met him I can't remember...maybe through the Sunday School. His father was a motorman, and in those days, in Vancouver, the traffic was all on the left. Q I didn't know that. A: Yes. And his father was a motorman and therefore sat at the front, and started and stopped the car. And at the back was the conductor. And you got on at the back and paid your ticket, and his father took us kids...on a Sunday, we'd get on the car, and we'd sit up front with him, and go all over. It was a wonderful experience. And this friend of mine also had a bicycle. I didn't have a bicycle at that time. I remember one time he drove the bicycle over. He left the bicycle for me to have it for a week. They were going away. He left it for me to use. It was one of the highlights of my years in Vancouver, to have that bicycle all to myself. I promised him that at the beginning of the week I would return the bicycle. Came the day I was to return the bicycle, it was raining cats and dogs. My mother gave me a rain hat and I had a raincoat, and I remember riding from our part of the city all the way—halfway across the city to return the bicycle. That experience just stands out in my mind. Q Are there any other childhood memories that...well...(laughs) you'd like to have on this tape? A: Can this be edited, or does it go in the way it is? Q: Pretty well the way it is...but its not really accessible to anyone except historians or people doing research. A: Well, I remember, I think it was when I was in grade 10. I was nominated to be Secretary of the Students' Union. I had very keen competition by a very capable girl, and she defeated me, and that really cut. It took a while to get over it. (laughs) And in Normal School I was elected to be President of the Students' Union. There were several outstanding teachers in Normal School. I'11 never forget. I remember one of the history teachers asking me to do ...to outline the projected, maybe not projected, but rumored St Lawrence Seaway Project. This was 1928. I boned up all the information I could get. From libraries and other sources, on the history of the Seaway up to that time. It was still on paper you see. And I'll never forget, he asked me to give this as a lecture to the class. And it was one of the greatest things I ever did, or had to do, was to become acquainted with the St. Lawrence Seaway project.. And from the minute it started from the point of view of publicity attached thereto, to its completion, I knew what had to be done. It was a terrific experience. Very outstanding experience. In Normal School, I enjoyed participating in Drama. I enjoyed that very much. Q: Were you on-stage, as an actor, in plays? A: Yes Q: Do you remember the name of the plays? A: Oh... I can remember. "Mr. Pirns comes to Town." I was Mr. Pirns. Q When you finished your Arts Degree, you decided to go to medical school. A: Yes. Q: Do you remember what particular factors might have influenced that decision? A: I think, as I mentioned, there was a spark in my mind for quite a long time, probably before I became aware of it, that I may go into medicine. You ask me where did it come from? I really don't know. Except that I think that my mother's association with health, as a nurse, probably started me thinking along that line. From maybe very early on. Q: Do you think that maybe teaching...! see teaching and medicine as having some connections. Doctors are teachers, aren't they: A: Yes, every patient you see, you are teaching. And yes, I think there is a common bond between the two professions in that regard. I'm sure I would have been happy, in teaching. I have, in our own family...our one daughter who lives in Lethbridge...she's a teacher, teaches grade one. And our son , who is at the University of Toronto is the Dean of the Faculty of Management at the University, and he has come up as an academic, as a teacher. I think that there's some of it in the blood. But I think that the initial spark came from my mother. Q: When you applied for medical school...what was the admissions process like? I'm interested in how it was any different from now. Was it difficult to get in to medical school.? A: Not particularly, no. We had relatively small classes at that time. We...What we call "straight medicine" was available, where you could go from high school directly into first year medicine. When I came along, in 1929, no 1930,1 had the option of going from my arts, no, of going directly from the pre medical required courses directly into medicine, and going through on the straight medicine program. I elected to take a degree in Arts for the next few years, in the Arts program, and graduated with a Arts degree. And then I went for five years of medicine. So that was the two alternatives at that time. Now, as I understand it, you have to have a pre medical degree. The cost of my tuition was relatively small. As I say relatively. In relation to my Arts tuition, and the tuition in other faculties, Medical tuition was not all that high at all. Quite cheap. Q: You still worked every summer? A: Yes, every summer. Q What did you do? A: I did various things. I sold magazines, I worked at the bakery, where my father was the manager. I drove a bread wagon, and sold bread. I did that for several summers. Q. And you lived at home, with your father. A: All the way through. I was very fortunate. I could never have done it, I don't think, in those years, without the consideration of my father. Q: This was the thirties. Do you think your father ever felt a financial strain? Was it ever difficult for him? A I was never aware of my dad being strapped financially. He remarried, as I say, in the early thirties. They had two children, two boys. They did not elect to go to University. They are, to me, full brothers. They're not full brothers...but they're brothers. We have a very good relationship. My own brother, Bill, is three years younger than me. He did not elect to go to University, but went into business. He did very well. He went into the bakery, And moved to Trail, B.C. with Canadian Bakeries. When the War broke out he joined the Air Force, became a pilot of a Liberator bomber. Was stationed in India, and what is now Sri Lanka, and came back, and lived in Edmonton. They had been married when he was younger. They had one boy, who is now a radiologist Bill...the job that he got into after the war, in Edmonton...Oil was beginning to be a big business in Alberta. He took a job with an oil well drilling supply company in Edmonton. Eventually, two men who were in the drilling business came to him and suggested that he, having contacts business wise, knowing the equipment side of the business...if he would join them, they would form a company, a drilling company. Which they did. To make a long story short, they did very well, and the company that they formed eventually was taken over by what was to become the Chieftain company. The Chieftain company, of course was a well known, well established oil company. Bill was part of the Chieftain family, and he's stayed with Chieftain ever since. He's retired, but he's still used as a source of advice and helps them. He's done very well. You see...I get wandering around... Q: That's alright. That's perfectly alright. A: This business of medicine, and the cost of medicine. I would have to say, with regard to the medical education itself. I would have to say, with regard to my teachers and professors, they were, to me, all men of a classical school. They were classical Physicians, Doctors, Surgeons. They, to me, were...I feel that I was taught by men who were dedicated, who were much more interested in teaching than anything else, and good doctors. I think I was very fortunate. Q: Do you think that a medical education in those days...What I'm thinking about is: Does the Doctor who has a liberal arts education before he goes to medical school, the Doctor who can converse on many subjects...history and philosophy, as opposed to the Doctor whose focus has been on science from Grade ten on... Does that make a difference in how a Doctor practices the "Art" of medicine as opposed to the science of medicine? A: That's a very good question. There was a time when I thought that probably yes. My interest was peaked, and I maintained an interest in subjects on matters other than medicine. I have learned from observation and experience that a doctor who is interested...many doctors are good doctors and at the same time good people. They are interested...good citizens. They are interested in the arts. I can't think of many doctors who are not interested in some type of extra professional type of activity. I...some of my Doctor friends. They can talk about music and opera, and subjects that are really, I think, really a sign of well rounded people. I want to say one other thing with regard to my medical training. Our class was one of the smallest classes to graduate in medicine. We, I think there were 32 of us. Which is a relatively small class. Q: That's the class of 38. A: Yes. Q Were there any women in your class? A: Not a woman. We were a rare class. Q. But it wasn't unusual for there to be... A: Not unusual, no. Although...most classes before and after us has one or two or three women. No, we were all men. Q I suppose it might have been quite a bit more difficult for a woman then... A: I think so, although I must say that any of the women that I was associated with, or came in touch with, through Medicine, they were well accepted, and were...they became good doctors. Dr. Margaret Hutton, who died a few years ago. I think she was interested in obstetrics and gynecology. She was a great person, as well as a great doctor. No, I would think that the women were equal to the men. Q What subjects did you most enjoy in medical school? A: I guess I'd have to say...you had to be interested and like them all. Q: Which ones were you best at? Which ones came easiest? A: I guess... they're all so important. Physiology, pharmacology, anatomy, materia medica...that's the study of medicines and drugs...pathology, clinical medicine, clinical surgery. These are all interesting. We had one professor, his name was professor Shaner. And he taught a class in embryology and neurology, and I guess it was one of the nicest and most interesting courses I took all the time I was in school. But they all had their own face that was attractive. We had a professor who could mimic right down to the last little twitch of a muscle, the walk of a person with a specific type of disease...neurological disease. Tabes Dorsalis. Which is the end stage of syphilis in one aspect...its one result of syphilis. We don't see syphilis today the way we used to see it. But he could stand and walk there, and it was a classical tabetic walk. You could see the man. He gave us a lecture one day...We used to have clinical pathological conferences. We had a conference, and everyone was present. We had a large room of Doctors and students, and the history of the patient, the progress of the patient, the diagnosis, and the ultimate result of the patient's illness. He gave a lecture one day on typhoid fever. We didn't see Typhoid much in those days. I saw it in Montreal, when I interned there, after I graduated. But he gave this class. And I never really appreciated the way that man taught until one night in Lethbridge (this was many years later.) I was called to Fort MacLeod by one of the doctors up there to come and see a patient who was ill, and not getting better, and they wondered what was troubling him. This... The history of this, to go back a little bit....Dr. Strome was with us in the Haig Clinic here. But he had previously practiced, alone, in Fort MacLeod. He'd left a reputation, that everyone in and around Fort MacLeod loved him and respected him. This phone call came in one afternoon for Dr. Strome to come up and see this patient. Dr. Strome elected not to go, and suggested I come up. Which I did. I took one of the other Doctors with me, and we came in and examined this patient and all of a sudden I was listening to the story of my professor about typhoid fever! Before I ever looked at the man, I heard his story, everything that had been going on, what he complained about, and I knew it was Typhoid. They confirmed it with stool examinations and blood examinations subsequently. But this is an example of teaching at its best. Classical teaching. Q: How long was it, in medical school, before you actually began working with patients? A: We went into working with patients...! would say, would be our fifth year. Four years were all sort of background, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, public health, etc. But in our fifth year we got thrown into it with patients. Q Was that exciting? A: Exciting. Yes...yes. Q: Can you ever remember feeling frightened or overwhelmed? Was that scary at all, when you took all that theory and then were faced with a real, live patient? A: No, I don't think so. I think that we'd been sort of nursed along in a very, very reassuring fashion. We weren't exposed to anything that we weren't ready for. This was a manifestation of the excellence in teaching, of course. Q: Was there ever a time, and I'm thinking particularly of that final year, and your intern year, when you felt...where you doubted your choice? A: No, never did. Never ever. Q That's good. Lucky. A: Oh...so lucky. Q: Were there any times during that final year of medical school where ...an incident that made you realize: "Yes, this is right for me...I've made the right choice"? Or were there never any doubts? A: Yes, once I got into medicine, right from day one...no problem. Never thought for one minute that I'd made a wrong choice. Q Are you getting tired? A: Yes, I am, a little. Q I think this is a good time to stop.
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Public Access
Accession No.
19931081168
Collection
Archive
Less detail

Oral History Interview - Dr. Hugh Arnold (interview 2)

https://collections.galtmuseum.com/en/permalink/descriptions82108
Date Range
1994
Description Level
Fonds
Material Type
Recording
Accession No.
19931081169
Physical Description
1 audio cassette (digital file)
Scope and Content
The following transcript was prepared by Donna Kampen. Q: When I asked you who looked after you and your brother while your mother did special duty nursing when you lived in Vancouver and your father was in England during the First World War, you said that you looked after yourselves. I'm w…
Material Type
Recording
Date Range
1994
Fonds
Dr. Hugh Arnold fonds
Description Level
Fonds
Physical Description
1 audio cassette (digital file)
Physical Condition
Excellent
History / Biographical
Dr. Arnold donated his papers to the Galt Museum and Archives in September 1993, with the provision that they be available for an independent study project done by University of Lethbridge student Donna Kampen, under the supervision of Professor Bill Baker of the Department of History. Donna Kampen organized Dr. Arnold's papers conducted a series of oral history interviews (8 audio cassettes) with Dr. Arnold.
Scope and Content
The following transcript was prepared by Donna Kampen. Q: When I asked you who looked after you and your brother while your mother did special duty nursing when you lived in Vancouver and your father was in England during the First World War, you said that you looked after yourselves. I'm wondering about that, because you would only have been six or seven and your little brother would have been only three or four. Either your mother must have taken William with her, or she would have had someone to look after him. A: I would say that Bill, lets see, was born in 1913, and you're right. I doubt very much that mother was away during, on reflection, I doubt that she was away from the house to any extent until probably latterly during that war. She, with Bill just being, what a couple of years old? It would seem to me that probably Bill...lets see, by the time he was five or six years old, that would be close to the end of that war. Q Yes. A: I think I must be wrong in my recollection of when she left the home, or when I was at home, to do occasional nursing. I would say that certainly Bill never suffered from her being away, and there was never anyone coming into the house to help supervise the two of us. I think probably I was wrong from the point of view of when she went to the nursing. One thing I do recall, on reflection, it was probably in the latter parts of when Dad was away, overseas, which would be in the latter parts of the War, in 1917, 1918, 19 areas that she may have done some special duty nursing. I was probably getting on to 7, 8,9 years old, and Bill would teen 5 or 6. I think that would be the only explanation that I could give you that would be correct. More definitive for that for information about that time about that time... Q Well, you were pretty little... A: I think, I can discuss this with my brother, and interestingly, he came through here just a few weeks ago, at the beginning of the year, on his way South, and he'll be coming back. I'll certainly talk to him about this subject It will be of interest to me how we seemed to manage, ourselves. Q: Yes. Its an interesting subject, how working mothers, in those days, would have managed. What I thought, perhaps, was that you had mentioned, that her family, her parents and her brothers also lived in Vancouver. Is it possible that your grandmother watched you and your brother sometimes? A: No, I doubt it very much. They were living in another part of the City. We were living in the eastern part in the Hastings east area, and they lived in the downtown area, I forget the name of the section, but they lived near English Bay. It was quite a ways from where we lived. We did have, one of my mother's sisters and her husband who, because of his health was not able to go to war, and another, a cousin of mine who was about my age. They lived within a few blocks of where we lived. Now this may have been a source of help for supervision. Q: Yes. A: My mother also had a sister who was not married at that time, but she was mature, and stayed with my grandparents, where she lived—she may have been helpful in that regard. So, I'll pick my brother's brains and see if he remembers. Q: Yes, I suspect that was probably the case. It was probably an aunt or a cousin or a female relative. It usually was in those days.. Or, sometimes there was a close neighbour. But you moved three or four times in that eight year period. A: Yes. That's right. We moved from Hastings School to McDonald School. That was one move. No...just two moves after my original home in Nanaimo. We lived on Pandora street, then we moved to a house close to McDonnell school which was in the same vicinity but was not as far out and then we moved again closer to the downtown section, so that was two moves. Q: Yes. Three different residences. A: Yes three different residences after we left Nanaimo. Q: Yes, Its not the same as living on the same street or neighborhood of the city for twenty or thirty years, where you get to know all your neighbours. Your mother might not have known her neighbours well. I suspect that it was probably a relative who looked after you. A: I have an idea you're right. Q That was just really the only point I wanted to clear up. I just couldn't see your mother leaving a three year old and a six year old alone, (laughs) I knew that wouldn't happen. A: No, no, you're right. I agree with you there. That's a good point. I'll talk to my brother about that. Q Sure. A: In that regard, its interesting. The Doctor who delivered me, delivered my mother of me, in Nanaimo, in 1910...He eventually moved to Grand Prairie, and he was a family physician there for years, even after I had moved with my father to Edmonton. During my early years of University training, he was a doctor in Grand Prairie, and had attended my mother so many years before. Q Now...you had just about finished medical school when we stopped last week. What year did you graduate from medical school? A: In 1938. Q And you applied for an internship? A: Yes, during my final year, and the summer months prior to that, I had been interning at the University Hospital in Edmonton. So in my final year I spent half the year at the University Hospital in Edmonton, and the other half of the school year, this was my final year in Medicine, I interned at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton. Then, after graduation, I had an appointment as an intern at the University hospital, and I interned there until the end of October of 1938, and then got married. Q And that was the end of the internship then? A: That was the end of that particular phase of my internship, yes. Q. What was the internship application process like then? I'm interested in knowing if it was any different than it is now. Did you apply to a number of different hospitals, or... A: No, I didn't at that time. I applied to the University Hospital. The sequence of events was, that in my fifth year, during the summer months, and at that time we had a period of about five months when we weren't in school, and in that fifth year, I was working, delivering bread as a matter of fact, and there was a, they were short one intern at the University Hospital for the early part of that summer vacation period, and I was asked if I would come on staff as an intern at that time. An undergraduate... intern. Which I did. And then I stayed through the rest of that summer and until the end of the calendar year, and then my final year of medicine at the University Hospital, and then on a rotation basis they moved us over the to Royal Alex, and I was there for the next, the last half of my final year in medicine as an intern. My application had been made to the University Hospital for internship during my first year Post Graduate, and I was accepted for that, and I interned at the University Hospital in, I guess it would be May, after my final year, and I continued until the end of October, and then decided to go into practice. It was a matter of applying, and appointments were not too difficult to get. No. Positions in medicine, practicing, were a little more difficult. Q When you were an intern, how many hours a week did you work? What was your schedule like, do you remember? A: It was a...it wasn't onerous. I was young, and enthusiastic, and could get up at different times of the day and night—night particularly, and do my charts, do the work called upon, and work during the day without any problem... do what was necessary. It wasn't a difficult thing. As I say, I was young. Q: You didn't find it particularly stressful. A: No, it was a real pleasure. You had a strata of interns above me, and they were always very helpful. And above that the staff doctors, and they were equally helpful, in teaching. Q: You did pretty well a complete rotation? A: It varied. At the beginning period, I was there for a year and a few months. Yes I did pretty well a complete rotation...some surgery...medicine. Q: You did some surgery? A: Well, I was an intern... Q You assisted... A: Pretty far down on the totem pole, (laughs) You never actually held a scalpel. Q You might hold a clamp, eh? A: You held a retractor. Q: Did you do a rotation in obstetrics...deliver babies...work in the emergency room? A: We did emergency work, yes. Emergency departments were not the way they are today. Today, it is a major department of the hospital with permanent physicians and staff. At that time, it was a matter of a patient coming into the emergency department and being located wherever they should be...if it was maternity, they would go to obstetrics, If it was a surgical problem, they would go to the surgical ward. As I say, it was a matter of locating. The intern in charge, he would sort of take over and make sure that the patient was properly diagnosed...properly examined, and then diagnosed by staff doctor in the off hours particularly. Q: When you finished your internship, was the option open to you of doing a residency then, or going into a specialty at that time? A: Well no, not at that time. I did not take it. There was an opening in Lethbridge at the time when Dr. Ayre, who was one of the original founders of the Haig clinic, he had graduated two years prior to me, and had come to Lethbridge just at the time I'm speaking of, and was doing what they call a locum, a locum tenens , that's filling in for a Doctor who is on vacation or leave. He came to Lethbridge to fill in for a Doctor who was on vacation in Waterton. And during the time he was on vacation in Waterton, he came into Lethbridge one evening and had a car accident, the car rolled over or something, and he was killed. So Dr. Ayre stayed with the practice. And he, in the course of a short time became acquainted with the two Drs. Haig, Dr. Arthur Haig and Dr. Willard Haig, who were in practice as general surgeons here. Dr. Ayre became associated with them. He, on behalf of the Haigs and himself, asked if I was willing and able to come and join them. Which I did. On the first of November, 1938. Q Did you know the Drs. Haig before that time, or just Dr. Ayre? A: No, just Dr. Ayre. Q. And it was Dr. Ayre who recommended you. A: Yes. Q: Was it a situation of "We need another man here, and I know a good one..." A: Yes, that's right. And they were thinking in terms of actually, in terms of extending their service, at one point they were thinking of adding a Doctor in Raymond, and another time they wondered if they should have a Doctor in Picture Butte, which was a growing community, too. And they wondered, when they asked me to come, whether or not it would be appropriate, or if I would be willing to go to either of these centres , but to be working under them. Sort of a satellite practice. As it turned out, I came to Lethbridge under those arrangements, but decided that if I was going to practice, I wanted to practice where I could have proper supervision, and decided that I would— actually decided that I would go to Taber. There was a Doctor there, at that time. A Dr. Weins. I indicated to the Drs. Haig and Dr. Ayre that I felt I probably wasn't, at that time, in a position to practice, on my own, without supervision, and that I would like to go to Taber. They out their heads together and decided that they would like it if I would stay, and they would like it if I would consider going into internal medicine as a specialty, that they would do what they could to help facilitate me getting the necessary training. And eventually I did get training. Q: Did you always have an interest in internal medicine? A: No, my original interest was obstetrics and gynecology. Q Really? A: Yes. Its interesting that Dr. Ayre was interested in obstetrics and gynecology, and he eventually did go away to Montreal, and studied obstetrics and gynecology and became a specialist in that specialty. That's why I was not able to go into that specialty. So I selected internal medicine at their request. If I may, for a moment... Q Yes. A: Dr. Ayre—when he was at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, doing his specialty in Obstetrics/Gynecology, he became acquainted with the work of a Dr. Papanicoulou, and he originated what was to become known as the Pap smear. Q Yes. A: Dr. Ayre became interested in the Pap smear, and popularized it, over the whole continent. He eventually was given an honorary, I guess he was made an honorary citizen of the United States, and given a license to practice in Florida, where he headed up the Dade County Pap smear program. Q: Really? A: He stayed in the United States, eventually died there, but had moved from Florida to New York where I met him some years later, and he was still at that time working on, and popularizing the use of the Pap smear. It was interesting that I can recall being an intern at the University Hospital, and working on the female surgical service. It was a fairly large ward. There would be eight to ten beds in each ward, and it was just amazing, the number of ladies, women who had cancer of the cervix or uterus. Q Yes. A: And they really had nothing, but I guess radium therapy and surgery that would help them. But the Pap smear enabled the early diagnosis of cancer of the cervix and saved a lot of lives. A lot of lives. Q When you first started your practice in Lethbridge, how did you build your practice. Did you ...were you able to take over patients from Dr. Ayre... A: And the Haigs. Yes. Q Did they refer patients to you, and did you also sort of take "walk-ins"? A: Yes. I built a general practice. Yes. Anybody who walked in, I'd be happy to take care of. I had a ready made practice, because Drs. Haig and Dr. Ayre, they wanted someone to take over some of the medical problems of the practice. They were busy then, doing surgery. We had a lot of house calls. We did house calls morning, noon and night. But you know...we had more fun, really, practicing in those days than I think people have today. There was a hockey team in Lethbridge. They were first the Lethbridge...I forget the name, but they became quite famous. They went to...as a matter of fact there's a picture of them downstairs, in the museum, of the team. Q: The Maple Leafs A: The Lethbridge Maple Leafs. That's right. Q: Yes, they won the world championship, in A: That's right! Q. In Austria or Switzerland, or A: That's right. And then of course, after then, there was the Native Sons. A fellow by the name of Bruchet. He coached that team. And they became Canadian champions in junior hockey. Anyway, I had up to now failed to mention, and I should, that the two Drs. Haig had a brother-Russell Haig. Russell Haig was the senior brother of the family and he originally had a farm around Claresholm. But he became interested in business, and eventually, he became the business manager of the Haig Clinic. He managed the practice of the Haig brothers. And then, when we became the Haig Clinic, he became the business manager of the clinic. And he helped us manage the business of the practice. He really did us a great service. He eventually became the Mayor of the city of Lethbridge. The Haig Tower is named after him. He died some twenty odd years ago. Q Yes, I want to ask you a few questions about the business. A: Yes, but first, before we get to business, I was saying that we had a lot of fun. We never missed a hockey game. The office used to be open...we'd go to the office in the morning after we went to the hospitals. There were two hospitals at that time~St. Michael's, which was relatively new, built in 1930 or so, and the Gait Hospital. And we'd go to the Hospitals in the morning, and then we'd go to the office, around ten or eleven or so, and then we'd go home for lunch, and back to the office for Two O'clock office practice. We'd go till about five O'clock or five-thirty, six O'clock or so in the office, and then we'd go home for supper. And then we'd be back at seven O'clock at night, from seven to nine for office hours. So that we had office hours all through the day, and every evening, and we were in the office of course on Saturday, like any other day, and on Sunday afternoons, from two to four, we had office hours. So we were in the office a lot. But between office calls, and hospital calls, and house calls, we were a busy lot. We were quite busy. But what I've been getting around to is the fact that despite the fact that we were busy from the point of view of practicing medicine, the Haigs were enthusiastic hockey "nuts", (laughs) So everybody in the clinic had to go to the hockey games. We never missed a hockey game! We'd always get there somehow. And if you asked me: "Well, how come you could practice so long, from seven to nine at night, how could you get to a hockey game?" Well, I don't know! But we did it! Q: Well, this might be the time for me to ask you these questions. I'd like to know about Islay. She was obviously a large factor in your ability to practice those hours and... A: No question. Q: Where did you meet your wife? A: I met Islay while she was nursing at the University Hospital. That was in my first year of internship, my fifth year of medicine. Q: She was working as a nurse at the time? A: Yes. Q: How long did you date each other? A: Well, we dated until we decided that we'd get married. That was in October of 1938. October 31st. Halloween night we got married. She stopped nursing at that time. We got married in Melfort, Saskatchewan. Shall I go on? Yes, you're anticipating all my questions here...you're answering them... A: We were married at the home of Islay's dad and mother. Jim and Annie Brown, in Melfort. My father had driven me from Edmonton to Melfort, for the wedding. It was the 31st of October, and before we—it was an afternoon wedding, and it was maybe about six O'clock and it was getting dark. We'd discharged our responsibilities, and we thought that probably we should get to Saskatoon, that night. Which is a fairly long drive. And my father..! had bought a car for $800 (with a little down) and Dad had come with us to Melfort. So he and Islay and I drove that night, to Saskatoon. Dad stayed the night and then went on to Edmonton, by train, to home. Islay and I got in the car...we stayed in the Bessborough Hotel. And that was something! Q. Oh, I know... A: I didn't know how I was going to pay for it! Fortunately, the wedding had been good financially for me. (laughs) My dad slipped me a hundred dollar bill. We stayed there the night, and left the next morning. Drove from Saskatoon, down through Rosetown, to Swift Current, and then from Swift Current through Maple Creek, and then to Lethbridge. We were in snow, blowing, all the way from Saskatoon, until we got to about Taber. And then the road was dry, and the wind was blowing. It was great to see. Anyway, we did stop in Maple Creek on our way from Saskatoon. Islay had an aunt, who was a sister of Islay's mother, and we stopped there to see some of their children who had not come to the wedding. We stopped there and had a nice little visit And came on home. To Lethbridge. I remember phoning Dr. Ayre. I was supposed to be here on November the 1st But we got married on October 31st. It was the second when we got here, about nine O'clock. And by eleven O'clock, I was in the hospital, giving an anesthetic! Islay had come along, all the way. She was a brick. Whatever happened, she could just take it in stride. A: We were fortunate to get a nice apartment at the Tudor Manor. There was the Tudor Manor and the Gait Manor. They were both on Seventh Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenue. They are still there, but they were brand new at that time, and we were fortunate to have nice accommodations. Dr. Ayre subsequently went east. He went overseas first, and then came back to Montreal, to do the obstetrics and gynecology specialty. Islay and I went east. I told you that the clinic had told me that they would like me to do internal medicine. And we eventually went to Montreal, at the Royal Victoria Hospital, and I took internal medicine there. Q: When was it that you went to Montreal. A: That would be in 19...I guess it would be...I'm not sure. July the first, 1939. Q So you really only had seven or ..you were here about seven months before you went to Montreal. A: About eight months, yes. We stayed in Montreal for a year, and I did a rotating Medicine Internship, and then we came back in the early 40's. We stayed with the clinic, (I'm a little hazy here...) and at that time Dr. Ayre decided to stay in the East, and did not come back to the clinic. He, as I say, concentrated on his study of the Pap smear, and popularized it, as I mentioned. Subsequently, we lived on 11th Street, and then moved to eighth avenue (Charlie Bryant owned the house that we moved to on eighth Avenue) And then...I don't know if I should tell you this or not, but on Eleventh street, where we lived, we had Caroline. Caroline was a baby and there was a common bathroom between our part of the house—it was an old house—and another one bedroom suite that was occupied by another couple. And one night in June...I guess Caroline would be about a year old...and she developed the croup. The people next door had a baby, a little younger than Caroline. That baby had developed the croup also. And Dr. Cairns was with us at that time. Dr. Cairns had come as a partner of the clinic, and he was a pediatrician. He was over to see Caroline early in the morning, and we felt that she was tightening up pretty badly. He put her in the hospital and had nose and throat Doctor in to see her, and they decided at that time, that she was going to have to have a tracheotomy. She was so severe in her inability to breath. So they did the tracheotomy. Sulfa had just been released on the market, and they gave her sulfa, and she didn't have any problem getting over this. She did very well as a matter of fact. But the baby next door died from the same thing. It was a very virulent infection. But anyway, we decided that we would have to move. We did. We were able to get a house on Eighth Avenue. We stayed there for two or three years. And then subsequently we bought a house on 13th Street. There were three little "Hofer" houses. They were built by a chap by the name of Mr. Hofer, and he had the grocery store which was on the corner of 13th street and sixth avenue. On the north east corner of that intersection. Q Where "Bill's Fish Market" is now? A: Exactly! That's it. That was the "Hofer Grocery Store". And it's so small you know. But he did a terrific business. He eventually had Gaye...I forget his name...come in with him, and Gaye eventually took over the business, and Gaye developed the big store across the street now.. Q Value Village? A: Yes, that's it. Anyway, we moved to this house on 8th Avenue which was owned by Charley Bryant. And Mr. Hofer had built three little houses immediately north, well not immediately, but within three or four houses, of his store on 13th street, and we bought one of those houses. And you can imagine the thrill...we had a house of our own. Q: How much did it cost? A: Seventy-five hundred Dollars. I think it was. Thad Ives, who was a lawyer, from the Ives office, he bought the one next door, and then, I forget his name... Eventually, Andy Anderson and Rita bought the other one. And that was the three houses. The first fellow, who bought the house before Andy and Rita, he was an ultimate neighbour of ours later, when we moved to Parkside Drive...what was his name? Its right on the end of my tongue. Max and Jean Trimble. Anyway, when we arranged to move into the house, they had given us, I think six months notice...it was a war time thing...you got six months notice. The time came when we had to move...there was a little interval between the time when we were going to have to move from the house we were in and time we were getting into our new house. So we stored our furniture in what was called James Storage at that time. This is going back now to the forties. We went to visit Islay's mother and father in Melfort Saskatchewan during this time when we didn't have a house, you see. When we were visiting in Saskatchewan, that storage burnt down. Q Oh, No! A: Yes. Every bit of furniture, and everything we had...wedding presents... everything was gone. That was a shocker. In any case, we got into the new house... Q Was there insurance on it. A: I think it was the contents. I had two thousand dollars insurance. So that helped out a little. But nevertheless. Q But it wouldn't replace the irreplaceables. A: No. The pictures, and the wedding presents. But anyway... I'm rambling here... Q: No, that's quite alright. This is exactly what I want. A; I'm trying to get around to Islay. You're going to have to save two or three of these (motions to the transcripts) for Islay. Q. Oh, I'll give you these. A: Anyway, we had good years in that little house. Q: Tell me about the house. How big was it-how may bedrooms. A: It had two bedrooms. The total square footage would be around a thousand square feet. A thousand square feet. Q: That's not too bad. A: Not bad at all. Nicely arranged. A big lot. Lots of space at the back. And we had two bedrooms on the north side of the house. A little dinette, and a kitchen on the south side of the house. In between was a big living room that extended right from the front. A bay window in the front...right through to the back. It was just ideal for us. We built a bedroom down in the basement. Islay's mother and father came and stayed with us on frequent occasions, particularly at holiday times, Christmas and so on. So we had an extra bedroom built downstairs, and it was just fine. But—it was a great time there. During this period of time, we were young, we were associated with Kinsmen and other young people who were all abcnit the same financial status as us, and we had fun. We really enjoyed our selves. Our family, by this time....I've got to check my dates with Islay for the dates of the children. Our first girl was Ann. She died in infancy. Then there was Caroline next. And then Judy. And Then Hugh. In that particular house, as I recall, there was Caroline, and then Judy, but I'm not sure if Hugh was in that house too, or not, but we had a lot of people in that house. We stayed there for several years, and then after the war, I guess it was... I didn't go overseas. I wasn't with the active forces. I was associated with the Sea Cadet organization. I became the commanding officer of the local Sea Cadet Group. I've got a good picture of that—of the officers of that group, if you wanted it for the archives. A: Yeah. It would be a good idea if it were with the collection, because there's a lot of material on the Sea Cadets when you were commanding officer. A: Yeah. There's a lot. I forget now, how many years—I'd have to check with Islay on that-how many years we were in the "Hofer" house. The "Hofer" house we called it. But you can see that house—it's still there. Q: Really? A: Yes. With the little bay window in front. It was white, with a red top. I think it still has the red top. I'm not sure. Anyway, we eventually sold the house. We had, in the meantime, bought property on Parkside Drive. Mr. Virtue, and Mr. Ralph Thrall owned a lot of Parkside Drive. They were already there, in their homes. And there were one or two or three other houses, but Mr. Virtue asked if we would like to buy a piece out there, and we did. Best thing we ever did. We got a large piece of property right on the corner of 29th Street and Parkside Drive, at the highest point on the drive as you look down at the lake and the park in front. We moved there in 1950, and we stayed there until we sold it three years ago in 1991. We were there over 40 years. Raised our family, one or two dogs. Islay's mother came and lived with us after her father died. It was a great place. So we have moved up. Q Islay never worked after you were married? A: Yes. We were on Parkside Drive. She had taught, before she went in to take nursing, which she didn't complete. She had taken her normal school and some years of University in Saskatchewan. She had qualified to teach, and taught at a rural school south of Melfort. She had a one room school, in which I think she had twelve grades. She taught two years-I forget the length of time, and then decided that she'd like to try nursing. And was doing very well when I got into the picture. After we had been on Parkside Drive, there was a teacher shortage. She was acquainted with John Watson, who was the principal of Alan Watson School. He called her and convinced her to join his staff. So she joined that staff, and taught grade six. At first part time, and then full time, as I recall. She enjoyed it. She was a good teacher, and enjoyed it very much. She was beginning to get more and more interested in the community. She became interested in the Victorian Order of Nurses. You know about them... Q Yes. A: In it she became President of the local group. Eventually became president of the Alberta Branch and then on to become President of the Canadian Organization. Q Really? A: Yes. This was a great experience for her. While she was in that process. She had raised three children, and was interested in many other aspects of the community. She was interested in politics...She was interested in education-the University. She eventually became a member of the Senate of the University. And ultimately, the Chancellor of the University. And has been granted an honorary degree at the University. Q Do you think it might be possible for me to come over and chat with her sometime? A; She'd love to. I Just came from her. She is doing a sort of a review of her concept of the Senate and the office of Chancellor at the University of Lethbridge The University is, I think, interested in the various departments of itself. She's going over an interview she's had on that tonight. Q I'd like very much to talk to her. A: Yeah. You'd enjoy that. Q: I'm sure I would. A: Do you know her? Q: No, I don't. A: You'd like Islay. Q Oh, I'm sure I would. A: I'm sorry to wander around like this. Q That's perfectly alright. This is exactly what I want. I just wait till you're finished and then ask another question. This is just how I want it to be. When your children were small, and you were working very long hours... A: Yes I was. Q Islay was pretty well responsible for the running of the household? A: She was entirely responsible for the running of the household. Entirely responsible. She would come down to this hospital (the Gait) with the children, as the children were coming along. I would be called at suppertime...! might be called back to the hospital, or knew I had to come back to the hospital at night to see sick people, (of which we had many), and we would bundle the children into the car... she would take the children into the car, and come down here. She would park right out there in that parking lot out in front, and they'd sing, while I was in here. And then I might go on to a house call, or to the other hospital, St. Michael's. Yes. She raised the children. The family. Yes. she was considerate, concerned and supportive. Q I suspected so. I had an idea of what type of hours you had probably worked, and there would be no way that you could have helped her much. A: That's right. She was always with me. Not always necessarily in the sense of being there. But everything I did, she supported. And it was easy for me to be a doctor, I thought, with her. Q: Do you think that's really the one thing that made it possible for you to be successful...that you had that support? A: That's right. You have to have it. Q Can we go back a bit now into the "business" of medicine? I'm interested in these things just because its interesting to compare them to how things are now. There was a clinic manager. How many people worked in the office at the Haig Clinic? I'm talking just in the early years here. The late 30's, and after you got back from Montreal. Say the war years—no later than 1945. Do you remember how many people worked in the office? A: These would just be rough figures. I could get you exact figures if you want them. Q: No, that's Okay, for now. Just what you recall. A: Nurses? There was Miss..One, two, three. I would say while we were in the Mcfarland building, when we had Drs. Arthur Haig, Willard Haig, Eddie Cairns. Keir MacGougan in ear, nose and throat, myself in medicine, Dr. Strome, in anesthesia and general practice, that was what, six doctors, up in the second floor of the McFarland Building. We would have one, two, three, probably four nurses, maybe five nurses... Q These were R.N.'s? A: R.N.'s. The business office would have an assistant manager, Vivian Glanville was her name, and probably another four or five in the office. Q When we moved over to the Haig Clinic—the Sixth Avenue Building, where they are now, we became...we had much more space, and we gradually grew. The nurses, the trained girls who were not RN's, but who did splendid nursing, they formed a fairly large group, and our business office was quite large. Exact figures, I can get them. A: Yes. I would be interested to know those exact figures. It's kind of fun to compare the Doctor: office worker nurse ratio in the clinic in those days, to what it is now. You know, if its different, it would be interesting to try to find out why its different A: I could get you the exact figures for now, and I could get very close to what they were then. Fortunately, there are two or three of us who could put our heads together and come up with them. Q Yes. As I say, from a historian's point of view it might be interesting to look at those ratios, and if they're different, ask yourself: "I wonder why that is?" A: Yes. Q How much did an office visit cost? Lets just say during the war years. A: Oh, dear. This is an interesting subject in itself. Because Lethbridge was probably in some respects the focal point of the start of a lot of prepaid medical care schemes, or programs, that's the way I should put it. Our method of payment was by and large on a prepaid, or partly prepaid basis. Before I came here, and for several years prior, and certainly for the first few I was here, we had several contracts available, including what we called the "private contract", where you or your family could join the Haig Clinic, or any other group of doctors, or a doctor, in this community, and for I think it was $25 a year. This would cover all of your office calls, house calls, care in the hospital, 50% for surgery, 50% for obstetrics. So by and large, the big section of medical care was prepaid by this private contract. Along with that, there were specific groups who joined together to form contracts. These included the teachers, the city employees, the CPR and the mines. And every mine had its own contract with the Doctors. Those were the mines those days, of course. And a typical mine contract might be $2 for a family, per month. Q Really. And were those premiums deducted from the payroll? A: I think some of them were, by the Unions. Q: And then remitted to the Clinic? A: Yes, I think they were. And here again, those contracts would include office calls, house calls, 50% for surgery, 50% for maternity, and probably hospital calls too. when I say hospital calls, I mean the cost of the Doctor's visit to the hospital, not the hospital's charges. Q Yes. A: So, those were some areas where those contracts existed. And then, the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District was coming into effect, or was in effect when I came here, in the late 30's. And they formed a group to be covered by medical care on a contract basis, and they called that the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation scheme. It was basically the same. With about the same cost. $2 per month per family. Q Yes. Now this was in the early 40's. I wonder what a miner's salary, an average monthly miner's salary was...I could probably find that out. I'm trying to think what proportion of a miner's salary that medical care premium would represent. A: It wouldn't be too great. At $2 per month or $25 per year. That's not bad. I can tell you that my salary, when I came here, was $200 per month. So, compared, it wasn't that much money. Q Yes. Your salary, of course, would have been higher than a miner's. But I'm thinking that now, at $56 per month for Alberta Health Care for a family, the proportion probably isn't much different. A: Not bad. And Doctor's were doing quite nicely, thank you, on this financial basis. You must remember also, that the medical profession treated old age pensioners... There was an Old Age Pensioner's medical pension plan. The government provided a certain sum of money, for a "kitty", for the profession itself to administer, which it did, in Edmonton. This would be a sum of money to provide for care for old age pensioners. The amount of money that I got, would depend on the amount of money left at the end of the month in the pot. Q And that was administered by the medical profession? A: It was distributed, as I recall, by the medical profession. Q It wasn't a government bureaucracy. A: That was an asset, or course, to many senior citizens. Q: Oh, I'm sure. A: For us, as the medical profession, as providers of the service, there was a global budget. A certain amount of money, and that had to be distributed among the doctors. We often took 40% or maybe 50% of our college fee, our fee for these services, because of the fact that there was only so much money to be distributed among all the doctors. So we gave a lot of service to these old age pensioners for considerably less than the actual cost. Q: Would you say that the other medical, the other insurance plans with the teachers and the city of Lethbridge employees...would you say that was a "good deal" for the clinics and Doctors as well? Did that work well for you? A: Yes. Yes it did. It was a Godsend, I think, for a lot of people, because those were the late 30's and the early 40's and things had not yet turned around. Yes, it was a Godsend. And we used to say that patients who had a private contract with us, we made money on them., because they never came near us. They had it as insurance. They couldn't afford not to be covered. So they took it as insurance. Q: Are you getting tired. A: Yes, a little
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Accession No.
19931081169
Collection
Archive
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Oral History Interview - Dr. Hugh Arnold (interview 3)

https://collections.galtmuseum.com/en/permalink/descriptions82109
Date Range
1994
Description Level
Fonds
Material Type
Recording
Accession No.
19931081170
Physical Description
1 audio cassette (digital file)
Scope and Content
The following transcript was prepared by Donna Kampen. Q That should work. I tested it before you arrived. A: Just leave it right there? Q Yes. A: I want to tell you about the possible or probable...the apparent inconsistency between...my mother in Vancouver, when she had we two boys, and m…
Material Type
Recording
Date Range
1994
Fonds
Dr. Hugh Arnold fonds
Description Level
Fonds
Physical Description
1 audio cassette (digital file)
Physical Condition
Excellent
History / Biographical
Dr. Arnold donated his papers to the Galt Museum and Archives in September 1993, with the provision that they be available for an independent study project done by University of Lethbridge student Donna Kampen, under the supervision of Professor Bill Baker of the Department of History. Donna Kampen organized Dr. Arnold's papers conducted a series of oral history interviews (8 audio cassettes) with Dr. Arnold.
Scope and Content
The following transcript was prepared by Donna Kampen. Q That should work. I tested it before you arrived. A: Just leave it right there? Q Yes. A: I want to tell you about the possible or probable...the apparent inconsistency between...my mother in Vancouver, when she had we two boys, and my father was overseas, and my mother did some special duty nursing. Q: Yes? A: You raised the question, properly so, about how, when she would be special duty nursing and also taking care of us two boys, who were still fairly young whippersnappers you know. And I think I've arrived at the answer to the proper questions you asked. I discussed it with my brother, and we both have decided that—he was born in 1913,1 was born in 1910--. We lived in two, no three different places during our lives in Vancouver. Each of us attended the same schools—he three years after I. The first school was called Hastings, and the second was McDonald, and the third was Seymore. As nearly as I can put the story together, at this stage of our lives. I was born in 1910, and Dad went to the war in 1914, so I was four years old. My bother, born in 1913 was only a year old when father left. When the war was over in 1918, father came back to Vancouver. He had...he was looking for work, and had difficulty getting the kind of work he wanted. He wanted to get into men's haberdashery...men's clothing, that type of business. He had great difficulty, there was this great rush of people coming back from the army. Q: Yes A: He did contact, or was contacted by someone in Calgary who wanted him to come to Calgary to work for him, and Dad went to Calgary, made inquiries, and took the job ultimately, and for that reason we moved to Calgary in 1921. At that time Dad had been sort of visiting in Vancouver occasionally, but his headquarters was Calgary. The period of time between 1918, when the war was over, and 1921, when we moved to Calgary, my father was at home at intervals. That was when we think our mother did special duty nursing. So that is the closest my brother and I could come in explaining the fact that she did do the special duty nursing. In fact, my brother didn't recall her doing any special duty nursing, but he was very young. In 1918 he would only have been five years old. So I think this explains, certainly to my satisfaction, the reason why my mother was able to nurse. My father was home at intervals. Q: Yes, that makes sense. A: And, as I recall, she didn't nurse when we were in the first home that I remember, in the house that we lived in after we moved from Nanaimo to Vancouver. I don't think she did any special duty nursing at all when we lived there. We moved then a little further toward the downtown area of Vancouver, and at that time I attended school, and I think maybe that she did some nursing, maybe morning or afternoon as a favor to the doctor, to do "in house" nursing. That was where most of her nursing was done. I don't think she ever worked in a hospital at all after she left Nanaimo. But I remember making a meal for my brother and I. He was just a whippersnapper. And the meal that I made was "dark's Pork and Beans". A whole can. I put it into a pot, and put it on the stove and warmed it up and that was our dinner. The only reason I recall that was because that was our dinner. I had made the dinner, and I think on that occasion, Mother had probably been at work that particular afternoon or day. This was in the middle house that we were in. When we moved further towards downtown, I think she...that's where we lived when father came back from overseas, and at that time she may have done some of the nursing I spoke of, when he was there. So I think that explains that. I was confused about that, and I'm glad you raised this question. I was of the opinion that she did the nursing before...this was just my interpretation. Q: Well, you were very young. And it just didn't make sense to me. I knew your mother wouldn't have left a two year old alone. A: You are absolutely right as a matter of fact, and she didn't. Q. I knew she wouldn't. A: I'm glad to~I talked to him a couple of days ago—I'm glad to get that clarified. And you know, he didn't know Dad...This is interesting. He didn't know Dad to the extent that, in March of 1921, when Mother and he and I moved from Vancouver to Calgary, we came by train, and we got off at the CPR station in Calgary. And Mother told Bill, my brother, to go down the platform aways. She could see my father waiting for us. And Bill walked towards his father and didn't recognize him. Didn't know his father at all. Q: Really? A: Yes. Because he hadn't seen him to any extent. He was in Vancouver a couple of times after the war, but he didn't recognize him. Q Well he would have been just a baby when your dad left. A: Yes, he was born in 1913, you see, and Dad left for overseas in 1914 and he was just a year old. My dad was overseas for four-plus years, and that was a big part of my younger brother's life. Q Yes. A: So that was the sequence of events. Q Did your parents ever talk to you about...that must have been very difficult for your parents. I know that a lot of families went through the same thing, but that four and a half years of separation—being apart from your spouse and children for all that time—did they ever talk about that? A: Very seldom. I know it was difficult. We lived two blocks from Hastings Park. Hastings Park is where the Hockey rink and the other sporting events are held in East Vancouver. At that time it was a headquarters for mobilizing of men who were getting their uniforms and equipment and some training, and were going overseas. That's when they were outward bound. When they were demobilizing, after they had come from overseas, they were sent to Hastings Park and dispersed from there. We used to go, I can recall going to...what would it be...the mess? Where the cook cooked—the men cooked their meals... Q Yes. A: I can recall going to Hastings Park and getting bread for the chickens. Mother kept chickens at the back of the lot I think I'm right about this...I know I went and got bread from the Army stores. I used to go and get bread for Mother and she'd feed the chickens. I remember...It was difficult, but we coped. I think it must have been very difficult for my mother. Four years was a long time. And she wasn't long married you know, and she had just a year old baby when Dad left you know. And we moved from one house to the next, to an apartment. Q: Yes, when you think about it, it must have been difficult. Two small children. Probably there would have been some income...I imagine part of your father's army pay would have been... A: Yes. Part of his pay would come to my mother. Q But it still wouldn't have been very much. She would have had to be very very careful. A: Yes. I think that we were...we didn't want for any thing... but there weren't cars in those days or anything. We didn't miss much. It was a great experience. Q: Yes. When we left off last time we were just about.. .We were talking about you andlslay. I'm interested in the War years. I'm interested in the impact of the war on Lethbridge and on the practice of medicine. What was rationed for you during that War...the 1939 war? Meat and sugar were rationed. Gas? A: Yes. Meat was rationed, booze was rationed...(laughs). Sugar...But I don't think we suffered. Q: No?No, I don't think so. Q As a physician, would you have been subject to gas rationing? Or would you have had extra coupons because you had to make housecalls...? A: Oh yes, we made lots of house calls. You know...you've asked me this question, but I don't recall having gas coupons, or being rationed for gasoline. I don't know. Q: I wasn't sure. I know there was gas rationing in some parts of Canada, but I wasn't sure at all. A: I don't recall. Certainly I don't recall it being a hardship. The practice of medicine was not affected except at ...oh there are two or three things I should mention here. Not an inconsiderable...the work we did, as civilians and physicians...we had to examine, or we did examine people who were called up to go into the services. There were a large number of young men who we examined. I can still recall—the fee for examinations on those people was one dollar! Q A complete physical. A: Yes,, a complete physical. We had to determine that they were fit to go on into the services. After our examination, if they were called up, then of course they would be in the hands of the service personnel for another examination. We were sort of doing a preliminary assessment of their health, to determine who could proceed on into the services. Those who had obvious health problems, which we detected or became aware of, they were—they wouldn't go beyond us. Q Yes. A: I can remember going to the hospital, making my rounds at the hospital, and then going straight to my office every morning to examine people who were asked to report. I would spend most of my mornings that way. Q Really. A: Yes. Q I would imagine you would have had to do a fairly extensive physical. A: Yes, well you had a responsibility to determine whether they were fit to go on. You wanted to be...you had to be...you were responsible for serving your country in that regard. Q Sure. A: I became associated with the Sea Cadet organization here at that time, early in the War Years when Sea Cadets were established. I was taken on as what they called a Surgeon-lieutenant in charge of the medical aspects of the corps. After the first year in that position, the commanding officer left, and they appointed me as the commanding officer. I stayed in that position until after the war. We had a crew of about ten officers. Q One of the things that I'm interested in regarding the practice of medicine during the war years, is...did you see any signs of nutritional deficiencies...that kind of thing...during the war years. A: No I didn't. We were...we are an agricultural community. And the beef industry which is extensive here...mind you, a lot of our agriculture and animal products were sent overseas, but we never, as citizens suffered. I don't recall that anyway. We might have been short of sugar...that sort of thing... Q: That wouldn't hurt anybody I guess.(laughs) I'm interested in how...would you say that patients then were less sophisticated than they are now...Do you think that the doctor/patient relationship has changed in the years since you began your practice? A: That's a very good question. The pattern of practice at that time was different from what it is today in many respects, although in many respects it isn't, (pause) What was your question again? Q I asked about the Doctor/patient relationship. A: I don't think...I basically think, as far as my own personal practice is concerned, I don't think there was any basic change between practice in those days—in the late thirties and forties, and practice as it is today. I don't think...I think that the concern of the doctor is the patient. Q Uhuh... A: The doctor patient relationship, which is a very common statement, basically, is what medicine is all about. Or should be. Q Uhuh... A: I think that generally speaking, people, in this community anyways, have been given extremely good medical care. When I say good, I don't mean that we've had all of the avenues of specialty available, but the Doctors and the patients have had an understanding and an appreciation for each other. Generally speaking, the pattern of practice at the beginning of my practicing years, in the late thirties and forties, was more of housecalls...we were open...interestingly our office was open every morning. We used to practice in the office, after we went to the hospitals in the morning, we would come to the office and see patients until noon, have lunch, and then come back to the office for afternoon office hours, and we'd do that from 2:00 o'clock until five or six o'clock. We'd go home for dinner, and then come back to the office around seven and stay until eight-thirty or nine. So we were in the office every day, including Sundays, except Sunday evenings. We made housecalls, we did outclass to the hospitals... Q: I'll tell you why I asked. I was reading a book, published quite recently about the Doctor /patient relationship and how it had s changed over the years, and the author of the book had spent five or six days in a large clinic in Toronto. The average amount of time that a Doctor spent in the room, with the patient, during an office visit, was just under three minutes. I think that's changed. I think that Doctors and patients used to spend more time together. A: This would vary with the Doctor. I think that you would still find some doctors who have a very busy practice...you would find that they wouldn't spend more than a few minutes with the patients, quite often because they just wouldn't have the time to work them all in otherwise. Its true that there are patients who want a specific doctor, and it doesn't matter how long they have to wait, or how busy the doctor is, they want that doctor. There are still, I'm sure, doctors who are very busy, in terms of the patients they have to see, in the course of a day. It depends entirely on the desire of the doctor to see the patient, and the desire on the part of the patient to see a particular doctor. The pattern of practice, I think, is changing. Q: Uhuh... A: There are, of course, many more so-called specialists now, who are available for consultations or second opinions, and this, I think, is good. Its interesting...Its hard to put this in words, but we had a Doctor here, who was one of our senior doctors when I came, whom I really respected, and who I got to know over the years. His name was Dr. Peter Campbell. The Campbell Clinic is named after him. He was a fine gentleman and a good Doctor. He used to exemplify the advice that Oliver Wendell Holmes, a great jurist in the United States said many years ago: "Don't just do something, stand there!" (laughs) Q: Yes. (laughs) A: And this is what Dr. Peter was like. He would listen. And this is what many people wanted and still want...somebody to listen to them. Q: I think that maybe for many Doctor visits, a sympathetic ear is all that's necessary for healing. A: That's true. Our practice of medicine has evolved over the years to the point where the number of drugs that are now available, which have come in to use the last few years, comparatively few years, has multiplied many times. Q: Oh yes. A: You see, when I practiced first, we had aspirin, digitalis, very few other drugs for blood pressure, and other types of stomach trouble, bowel trouble and so on. We had antacids for stomach ulcers, (laughs) But now, the progress, with regard to pharmacology, this is now standard. So the practice of medicine carries with it, to me, not only greater opportunities of approach to illness, but also an equally greater responsibility with regard to knowing what drugs to use and when. This is some of the change that's occurred. Q: Yes. I would think that a Doctor now would have to set aside a certain amount of time every week or every month just to keep himself up to date on new drugs and new procedures. A: I think that that is true. The literature which is available, coming out from the professional societies: The Canadian Medical Association, The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the—I just got a new publication today~the "Prairie Provinces Medical Journal"—the many excellent journals that come to us from Great Britain-"The Lancet"—the journal of the British Medical Association, and the journals that are published in the United States, the "Journal of Medicine," the "American Medical Journal". Circulars...there are many different specialty publications—all of them are excellent journals. To be on top of everything, the problem is for the busy doctor...when does he get to them? He has to take a night and bone up a bit—do what he can to get to it. there are journal clubs, where a few doctors will sit down once a week or once a month, and one doctor will be responsible for the highlights of one journal and another for another. Q: That's sensible. A: Yes, its a great help. The meetings, which go on, where there is attendance, in person, or conferences by telephone and television as so on. These help to keep us all up to date, and are all very helpful from an educational point of view. Some of the drug companies sponsor meetings at which experts come from Calgary or Edmonton or elsewhere to Lethbridge, for instance, and help keep us up to date. These are all part of the education process which is meeting some of the needs of medicine. Some of my experiences with new drugs are interesting. We were just at the cutting edge of sulfa drugs when I started practice. We had sulfanilamide, which was one of the first of the sulfa drugs, which was anti infection. Since then there have been many other sulfa drugs which have been refined and changed and still many of them are useful. Penicillin was the first antibiotic of consequence that we were able to use. It of course, was one of the great days of medicine. Q. I'm interested in some of your experiences with penicillin and the new drugs. Can you think of a specific case where you... A: Oh yes! I can remember a young man...I had...he had come under my attention through his father and mother and other members of his family. They were farmers east of Coutts, which was a fair distance way. I do remember his father coming in with a hemorrhage-what we call a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage—this is bleeding into the space between the brain and the enveloping tissues which cover the brain... Q Between the dura matter and the... A: Yes, and the pia matter. I can remember the father coming in. He was gravely ill, but eventually got better. They had three boys, and the one boy, who was the youngest of the three. I was called to see him one night, to come down to this hospital...He had been brought in by his parents, about eighty or ninety miles, and he turned out to have a bilateral pneumonia—what we call a double pneumonia. We had penicillin at that time. It was an aqueous solution, and had to be given every three hours, intramuscular. There was no oral penicillin at that time. It was just the only antibiotic we had at that time. I came down here, and slept at this hospital, and gave him the injections every three hours, and after 48 hours he began to improve, and he walked out of here about ten days later. Well, this was wonderful. Wonderful! I didn't have to stay the whole ten days you know, just about 48 hours, but that's what we did. It was just wonderful. A miracle! Q Yes. A: I remember another boy in this same hospital. He was the son of a chap named Hensen. He was with the YMCA. I had recruited him for the YMCA (which I was the chairman of the board at that time). I had gone to a course in Toronto for two months, a refresher course. We had lost our executive secretary of the YMCA at that time—he had submitted his resignation. And I was looking for, on behalf of the board, a man to replace him. I met Mr. Hensen in Toronto, and talked to him, and (fortunately) he decided that he would come west and join us at the YMCA here. He and his wife came. They had one boy, and he was in his early teens. He had rheumatic fever-he had had it at an earlier age. He was in about grade ten or eleven I believe when he had a recurrence of the rheumatic fever. His joints were affected, but more importantly, his heart, within days of the onset of the illness, It became apparent that his heart was being affected by the rheumatic fever. There was a progression of the heart, whereby the valves, the muscle and the lining of the heart were all affected by the rheumatic disease. This boy was...we loaded him up with aspirin, which was the only effective drug that we had for rheumatic fever at that time. We gave him aspirin until his ears were buzzing. But he wasn't getting better, he was getting worse. You could see it. His heart was enlarging, and the valves were getting more involved. And just at this time, this was just after the war... Willard Haig was one of the surgeons at the Haig Clinic. He had gone to the Mayo Clinic for a refresher course, and he came back from the Mayo at the time that this boy was here, at this hospital. I was commenting on this boy to Dr. Haig, and he said: "I've just come from the Mayo Clinic where they have used cortisone for rheumatic fever, and it worked wonders." So I phoned my old professor of medicine at the University Hospital in Edmonton, Dr. John Scott. He was, I think, the Dean of Medicine at that time, he had gone from being a professor of medicine to the Dean. I told him about the boy. He said: "Let me see what I can do." So he phoned Winnipeg and spoke to the Dean of Medicine there. His name was Bell, they called him Buzz Bell. Bell said yes, he would make the cortisone available on an experimental basis for this patient, providing he was given the medicine in a recognized research facility. Now the only place in Albert for that was the University Hospital in Edmonton. So Dr. Scott said he'd have the material, and if I could get him up there... Air Canada used to fly in here from Edmonton to Calgary to Lethbridge a couple of times a day. They had Viscounts. They were a nice plane, but getting him up to Edmonton was a question, a problem. We got him on the plane. We used two seats, had him stretched out, with Oxygen going all the time. We flew him to Edmonton on the Viscount...a regular passenger flight. The ambulance met us at the downtown airport in Edmonton. We took him over to the University Hospital, and he was put into a bed there. I stayed overnight, just to see how he was doing. He withstood the flight very well. He came home, I guess it was about three weeks later, and his heart sounded normal. There was no further rheumatic disease, and the cortisone had been effective at getting this boy back to health. That was in 1950? Maybe the late 40's. Q: It must have been exciting, because that was the time when all those new drugs were being developed. A: Ah yes. Very exciting. You know, that goes back 40 plus years. I had a phone call about two years ago, one afternoon, from that boy. Q Really... A: He was well, had never had another recurrence, he had graduated as an engineer, and it just sent a thrill through me. Q Oh, I'm sure it did. That's wonderful! A: To my knowledge, that was the first cortisone used in Alberta. It was on an experimental basis. Dr. Bell had been given responsibility for this area of Canada, to use the drug. Q: Can we go back for a minute? I'm interested in that man you said had a sub arachnoid Hemorrhage, and he got better. A: He got better. Q Did you have drugs then like Mannitol? or something like that? How did you treat that sort of thing? A: We didn't have a treatment. As a matter of fact the treatment that we undertook at that time was that I put a needle into the spine, into the spinal canal, and the diagnosis was established of course by the fact that he had a severe headache, and there was blood coming out in the needle from the cerebro spinal fluid. Q: Uhuh... A: There was no treatment when the bleeding had occurred. At that time there was no treatment, except to relieve pressure as much as we could. That was accomplished by putting a needle in every day, and pulling blood out. Or rather fluid out. I guess it took about ten days, and then he got better. He wasn't a young man. I guess he was past 50. Q: He was lucky. A: He was very fortunate, yes. Q I just wondered about that, because I know that that can be very serious, even with all the new drugs and technology we have now. A: Yes. We only had one neurosurgeon in the province at that time. Dr. Hepburn at the University Hospital in Edmonton. I can recall, as an intern, after I had finished my courses, my lectures at the University, I worked at the University Hospital as an intern for a while. I can remember one young man being brought in, while I was on the neurosurgeon's service. He was brought in from out in the country outside of Edmonton in the middle of the night. He had a sub arachnoid hemorrhage, and there was nothing we could do. He died that night. Q Yes. I knew it was very serious. And I knew that you didn't have things like Mannitol then, or ways to measure the inter cranial pressure. A: No we didn't have that then. Q. I'd like to get your feelings on...there are issues that physicians face now, that perhaps weren't considered as important...I'm sure you still faced them, but they weren't in the newspaper every day...things like child abuse. Did you ever have situations in your practice where you suspected that might be happening, or... How did you deal with it? I know it must have been happening...it didn't just start in 1980. A: The only definite occasion we found that there was child abuse...frank child abuse...was where the child had been terribly treated by the parents. It was a small baby, the parents had really abused it. The child died at the emergency department of the old regional hospital. We notified the police about the parents, but I don't know if any action was ever taken. Is that the type of abuse you mean? Q. Yes. Its an ethical issue that physicians have had to deal with in the past 20 years or so—there are guidelines and rules now about what has to be reported, when it has to be reported and who has to do the reporting and so on. A: Yes, we were responsible for reporting that. I was on call that particular weekend, when this child was brought in. We had pediatricians. We had a pediatrician in our own clinic—Dr. Cairns. Now we have three or four pediatricians in the city. But that was the only case I was personally involved in, and that was only because I was the doctor on call for our group on that occasion. Yes, that was a very unhappy situation. Q Was it an issue that you may have grappled with, in your clinic, with the other physicians? You know if you didn't see it in your practice, perhaps the pediatrician or the general practitioners did. Did you every talk about it among yourselves? Was it an issue that came up? A: Not very often, no. It would be pretty apparent. No as a rule...it's not easy, and its a very serious decision that you have to make. Q: Yes, I know. It seems that now there are guidelines and even laws in place-teachers and physicians are required by the law to report suspected child abuse. Those laws weren't in place in the 40's A: No, they weren't. Q: I wondered how it was dealt with... A: Yes. Fortunately its very unusual. But it does occur. A: You know, I should get you a copy of the interview I did In Calgary that time. There were parts of that interview that had to do with my experiences relevant to the Alberta Medical Association, of which I was the president at one time. It was part of the concept of the need at the time, when I was president, for a second Medical School in Alberta. I took the opportunity, in my presentation as president elect, when visiting different districts of the province, and the Medical Societies in Calgary, raising the subject there, of requiring another medical school. And that of getting the school in Calgary. We were at that time beginning to need, with an increasing population, a second school. And that developed partly as a result of my concerns in that regard. The other thing that has been a part of the changing scene in Alberta, and in Canada, has been the development of prepaid medical care. Have I talked about that? Q: Well, we didn't talk about the Canadian Medical Plan. We talked briefly about the Lethbridge and Haig Clinic's prepaid medical care plan in the thirties and forties, and I guess fifties, but we haven't talked about the Canada Health Act of about 1964? A: Yes, the Saskatchewan experience. Q Let's talk about that right now. We don't have to stay in chronological order or anything. A: Well this is something that I haven't done since I gave that presentation in Calgary. It was fresher, or at least fresher in my mind at the time I gave that than it is now, but briefly, the concept of prepaid medical care was established in this community long before I came. I think I've told you about that. Q Yes, you have. A: The evolution from the private contract concept of care... and the contract that were in existence when I came here, in 1938, which included the teachers, the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District contract, which included the farmers which were on the Lethbridge Northern, the miners, (the various mines were still operating, and had contracts with the doctors for their medical care, some of which would include not only medical care, but hospital care, some types of operation, or a percentage of the fee for the operation. The same thing regarding maternity care. And in one case that I recall there was one contract that actually included drugs. Those were existing for years before the eventual evolution of prepaid care as we know it. From the time when Medical Services Incorporated, M.S.I., developed from within the profession itself, and was actually developed, the general manager of which was Dr. Steve Smalz, who was with the Roy Clinic in Lethbridge. He was quite an expert at prepaid medical care, in Lethbridge, having been helping to manage these other groups in Lethbridge and so on. So he eventually moved to Edmonton as general manager of M.S.I. M.S.I. of course, it was replaced by the Alberta Health Plan when the government took over. M.S.I. was operated by the profession. The Alberta Health Plan came into existence of course when the government came into the picture to supervise the plan and distribute the funds and so on. Q Prior to M.S.I., in Lethbridge, while you had these different contracts, did you have an agreement on fees for services? Say one fee for obstetrical services, pre natal care, the delivery and post natal care? Or an amount that was agreed upon for say a gall bladder removal? A: Yes. This was a fee structure, and it was under the direction of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta. There are two organized bodies in Alberta: The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, which is responsible for licensing doctors, and for discipline, and they were at that time also responsible for the setting of fees. They would give a fee schedule. Q Was the doctor bound by that fee schedule? Or was it more like a guideline? A: I think it was guidelines, generally speaking. But I know there were many doctors who would not charge the full fee during years like the thirties when things were tough, and there wasn't a lot of money. That's when sometimes we would get a turkey on our doorstep, (laughs) But in any case, to differentiate between the College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Alberta Medical Association, the AMA is a doctor sponsored groups which is responsible, and has been responsible for...it is responsible for organized medicine, so to speak. They are responsible for all the "parts" of the practice of medicine. Those parts, nowadays, (its been changed from the College to the AMA~the question of fees is now in the hands of the Association) They are also responsible for the many, many committees that work in every area of medicine in the province—hospitals, fees (as I said) child health, anesthesia..there are many different committees that are responsible for functions as departments of the AMA. Q And those committees are usually doctors who volunteer or...? A: Yes they are doctors. Often they volunteer, and the committees are set by the executive committee. Q. I'm not sure that I understand exactly how they work though....The college is the disciplinary body. A: The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta...and this body exists in every province...they are responsible for licensing. That is, if you want to practice in Alberta, your application has to go to the college and they have to approve the application. They determine if you have had adequate training, adequate education, and whether you um.... Q Know what you';re doing? A: Whether you've been a "bad boy" or not...(laughs) That's the College. They have their own committees and they are responsible for other aspects...disciplinary, licensing and so on...other aspects of medicine. Q: How does it work then...I know that the CMA and the AMA have ethics committees...! know that because you were the chairman. How does it work...for example...If a patient had a complaint about a doctor...If a patient sent a written complaint to the AMA saying "this doctor behaved unethically "...who would investigate that complaint? A: That's a good question. The general subject that you're raising would fall under the matter of discipline. And discipline is the College. Q: Yet its the AMA who establishes the ethical behavior rules, right? A: This is true. They...on behalf of the physicians of Alberta, the AMA observes the Code of Ethics of the Canadian Medical Association. They formally accept the code of the CMA. The college administers the discipline. Not the AMA, the CMA. Each College, in each province, will be responsible for discipline. And they function! They are a quasi-judicial body. They meet, and they can... Q They can revoke licenses? A: They can revoke licenses, yes. Q. There is also an overarching Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons? A: That's a different group. Q How does that connect with the individual colleges? A: They're not associated. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of the provinces is licensed by the provincial government and they are autonomous. The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is a specialty educational and certificate granting body. If I want to become a specialist, they will tell me how many years of training I have to take for the various branches, and where they would approve me going to take it. They wouldn't approve me working in a hospital in Lethbridge, for example, because there's no teaching going on in that hospital. Q: Right. A: So they determine qualifications and the training accomplishments for specialty licensing. You get the sheepskin from them to indicate that you are a specialist. Q: That's the Royal College. A: Yes. Q: And the provincial colleges are basically for... A: Licensing of physicians. They are responsible for the doctors in their province. Each province has their own college for licensing and discipline.
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Accession No.
19931081170
Collection
Archive
Less detail

Oral History Interview - Dr. Hugh Arnold (interview 4)

https://collections.galtmuseum.com/en/permalink/descriptions82110
Date Range
1994
Description Level
Fonds
Material Type
Recording
Accession No.
19931081171
Physical Description
1 audio cassette (digital file)
Scope and Content
The following transcript was prepared by Donna Kampen. A: You know, I want to get you that information I have, that interview I had up in Calgary. That covers a lot of this stuff. Q Well, if we haven't covered some things adequately, its because I haven't asked the right questions, I…
Material Type
Recording
Date Range
1994
Fonds
Dr. Hugh Arnold fonds
Description Level
Fonds
Physical Description
1 audio cassette (digital file)
Physical Condition
Excellent
History / Biographical
Dr. Arnold donated his papers to the Galt Museum and Archives in September 1993, with the provision that they be available for an independent study project done by University of Lethbridge student Donna Kampen, under the supervision of Professor Bill Baker of the Department of History. Donna Kampen organized Dr. Arnold's papers conducted a series of oral history interviews (8 audio cassettes) with Dr. Arnold.
Scope and Content
The following transcript was prepared by Donna Kampen. A: You know, I want to get you that information I have, that interview I had up in Calgary. That covers a lot of this stuff. Q Well, if we haven't covered some things adequately, its because I haven't asked the right questions, I guess. A: Well, I do think that the material from Calgary will come. They've been very cooperative, and I think we'll get that within the next few days. I offered to go up and get it, and they said they'd send it down, so it should be fine. I'll have to see the material to know just what it was., just what the librarian and I covered. I don't remember the details of it. I think there will be quite a bit relevant to my work with the medical profession. Q Uh huh... A: The doctor who followed me as the president of the Alberta Medical Association-¬he was a Calgarian—the librarian who taped me also taped hem, separately. The material, I think was essentially having to do with medical politics. The other fellow wrote a book, based on this information. Q: Really? A: Yes. And I think that probably a lot of the Medical Association work, along with the Health Plan, the M.S.I., the Alberta Health Plan, and what was subsequently Medicare, (they all evolved, one after the other), I think that that will be covered pretty thoroughly in this material. Q That's good, because that's something that we haven't really touched on yet. A: I think that will be in the transcriptions that will come. Q: That's good. We were just getting to what I've been calling in my mind the "community years". When you were involved with the Kinsmen, the Rotary, the Navy League. You were very involved in a lot of community organizations. A: Yes, I was. Q: Did you find the time that you spent in these community organizations was time taken away from your practice? A: No, I can't say that I did. Where the time was taken away from was probably from my own family—my wife and the children. We were very, very busy during the war years. I returned from Montreal, from my post graduate work (an internship really)--! returned just at the beginning of the war. The war had started at that time, and—I think I've mentioned to you—the work that we did in civilian practice was, in part, the responsibility of assessing young men and (mostly men)-assessing their health with regard to going into the services. This was at the direction of the federal government. They were responsible. They were calling up young men according to age groups, and according to whether or not they were married of course. I felt that I had a responsibility to stay in practice here, to continue some of the things I was mixed up with, including, of course, the Sea Cadet Organization. Q. Yes. A: I became the commanding officer. We eventually had, I think it was 10 officers with a corps of around 120 boys. We continued our activities throughout the war, with parades twice a week. Q: That would have taken up quite a lot of your time. A: Yes, yes, quite a lot of time. It was time that I enjoyed, however. Anytime you're working with young people, its fun. And these young boys, they were from about 14 to 18 years of age. You know, many of them went on to do Naval service. Q Really? A: Yes. There were people, the officer corps included people such as Mr. A. C. Anderson who went on to become our mayor. Leslie Grant, who was the Anglican priest in Lethbridge—St. Augustine's priest. The work we did was very worthwhile, I felt, and interesting. Q: That was during the 40fs A: Yes, that was during the 40's Q: And the early 50's? A: Ah, let me see—that would have been about 1947 that I left the corps. Q. I see. A: Yes, I retired as commanding officer, and Mr. Anderson took over. Q. Yes. A: The corps continued as the Sea Cadet Corps, but they also had a younger group also, and this group includes boys in their younger teens—the Navy League Cadets, as distinct from the Sea Cadets. Q: That's a distinction that I wasn't too clear about, and I'm glad to have that cleared up. Its Navy League, and then Sea Cadets. A: Well, the Navy League is in charge. They sponsor the Cadet organization. They are the umbrella. Q I see. A: To continue with the time factor, I think I told you. When we worked in our practice, we would make our hospital rounds in the morning, rather early—when I say early I mean from 8:00 o'clock until about 10 o'clock. Q: What would you say...I know this will be difficult to come up with an average, but how many patients would you say you had at one time in the hospital. Really, just a rough average. A: I would say 10 to 15. Q. So, you would see 10 or 15 patients every day in the hospital? A: That would be an average. It varied of course. And that would be in two hospitals. We had St. Michael's of course, and this hospital. Q Yes. And then the Municipal and the Regional. A: Yes, well, when the Gait closed, of course it became the Municipal. Then, it was rebuilt as the Regional. St. Michael's Hospital had originally started in Lethbridge in the early 30's or maybe the late 20's. The sisters of St. Martha, who have their mother house in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, they took over the Van Harlem hospital, which was located on 7th Avenue and about 12th street. Then, in the early 30's they built St. Michael's Hospital. The Van Harlem, then continued as a nurses residence. St. Michael's was originally three floors, but had one central core. This was added to, first the west wing, and then the east wing. And then they established a nurses residence when they established a nursing school. The Gait School of Nursing was established here back at the turn of the century. And it continued of course until... Q I think it was sometime in the early 80's when it became college based wasn't it. A: Yes, I think that would be about right, the eighties. At that time, the students at the community college would do their theoretical work out there, and their practical work in St. Michael's. ^ Q: Yes, I think they still do a practicum at the Regional. I'm not sure if they do a practicum at St. Michael's anymore. They may. A: I don't know. But when this hospital...Do you want me to start on this hospital? Q: Sure. A: When this hospital closed (I can get dates for you-they're on the wall downstairs). Q: Yes. A: When this hospital closed, I think I had mentioned to you, I had done some work in Boston just about the time that this hospital closed. I'd have to check my dates... Q I think it was in January of 1953 or 1951. I know that you left in February. A: That's when I went to Boston? Q Yes. A: Well anyway, this hospital (the Gait) was just in the process of being closed. The Municipal hospital was in the process of building at that time, and the question was what to do about this building. The question as to what to do with the building was uncertain, because of the fact that there was some information which was available to the effect that the building was built over some of the mine shafts of the old coal mining which went on down along the side of the hill here. Q Really? A: Yes. And there was some question as to the ultimate safety of the building. They actually went so far as to build a new powerhouse just to the north of this building. Q: Yes. A: Do you remember that? Q No. A: The upshot of this all is that when I was in Boston, at this time, when all this was going on, I attended a lecture in rehabilitation by a specialist in rehabilitation medicine which was a new category of medical care. He was interested in the whole subject of rehabilitation. When I came back from Boston, I was enthusiastic too, about this field. So this building was in state of flux as to what they were going to do with it. I brought the matter up at one of the medical staff meetings, that we could use this building as a rehabilitation centre. The staff was at that time in agreement that this was a concept they could appreciate, so Dr. Ernie Poulson... I was the president of the medical staff at about that time, here, and I thought that there was an opportunity for us to at least explore the possibility of establishing a rehabilitation hospital here. Dr. Poulson was the vice president, as I recall, and the two of us decided that we would go and talk to the mayor about this. Which we did. We went and talked to Mr. Shackleford. He was the mayor at that time. Our first approach was rather coldly received. He didn't see that there was any possibility, nor that that was the proper use for this building at that time. Q Did he mention to you that he had some ultimate plans for it? Did he have any idea of what he thought it should be used for? A: No, I think it was all in a state of flux. Nobody really knew what they were going to do with the building. Anywise, he got thinking about it, and he phoned me up one morning, and said: "Arnold, I want you to come over." I wondered what this could be about. I went over and he said: "I think I've changed my mind on this, I think you've got an idea." And we had him on side. Right there. That opened the door for the concept of the convalescent hospital. Q This building was owned by the City of Lethbridge. A: Yes. The city of Lethbridge. To make a long story short, the concept caught fire. He was responsible for getting people like the reeves of the districts around us—one of them was Steve Hoi ton—and other responsible people in the community and rural areas on side. And a board was formed. The members of the board are on the plaque downstairs on the wall. Q Really? A: Yeah. And they got a director, they hired a director to come it. They altered the hospital in some respects, physically and brought it up to date in some regards. The upshot of that whole thing was that we had a rehabilitation hospital. And that was a good thing. Q Yes. A: Yes. When the Gait moved over to what was the new municipal hospital. Q Did this then eventually become the auxiliary hospital? A: No, This was the Gait rehabilitation hospital. At about that same time, the provincial government was—they had as the minister of health, a doctor. He was sympathetic and cooperative in the whole concept of rehabilitation medicine. We were beginning to appreciate the fact, as practitioners, that there was a need for longer term care for rehabilitation, and at the same time recognizing that there was a continuing need for facilities for long term care patients. The upshot of all this was that this was going on at the provincial level at the same time as it was going on here, the spark was...we were not responsible, as far as I know, but we might have been—the concept of rehabilitation started here as early as it did anywhere. Our hospital opened here as the Gait Rehabilitation Hospital. Q Tell me about the typical patient of the Rehabilitation centre. Would it be rehabilitation from trauma caused by, for example accidents, like learning how to walk again after a badly broken leg, or would it be more things like rehabilitation after strokes. A: By and large, let's say right off the bat, that the latter type of case, the stroke patient, the patient with the long term illness, was being cared for in homes, by mothers and fathers and relatives. When we opened this hospital as the rehabilitation hospital, we had so many patients, who needed care in long term facilities, that most of our beds were almost immediately taken up by them. So the rehabilitation concept had to be almost shelved while we were used or operated quite wisely, for patients who needed long term care. Of course, this was the care that had been given at home. We weren't aware of the actual numbers of these patients, because they had been a forgotten population. Cared for in upstairs or downstairs bedrooms in homes. It immediately became apparent that this hospital was filling a need, but the need wasn't for rehabilitation, but for long term care. At this approximate date, the doctor in charge of health for the provincial government was becoming interested and aware of the needs for the rehabilitation throughout the province, including Lethbridge. They decided on a program then, of building rehabilitation hospitals. And Lethbridge got one—the Lethbridge Auxiliary hospital. You see, this was the Auxiliary program. The Auxiliary was for both rehabilitation and other types of care including long term care. It appeared at that time, that when we got our auxiliary hospital, that this one, the Gait Rehabilitation Centre, would be replaced by that hospital. This was over the period of months, maybe even a month or two, as it developed. What happened then, was that the auxiliary hospital was completed, and we were ready to move into it, what was going to happen to this building. We didn't need, we didn't think we needed two auxiliary or rehabilitation hospitals, so this was turned back to the city and districts from which we had taken it over, and they ultimately felt that this was a good place for a museum. Q Yes. A: And they altered it, and changed it, and knocked down parts of it, and rebuilt parts, the extension out to the west, and we now have a museum on the site of the original old Gait Hospital. And that was wonderful. Q Yes. A: The Auxiliary Hospital was ready to open now, and they wanted a name. And I remember them phoning me one day, Mr. Holton was the chairman of the board, he phoned up one day and asked me if I would allow my name to be used as the name of the new auxiliary hospital. I was flattered of course, and very keen about it, but in any case, I spoke to the registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Edmonton, and he~I spoke to him and I asked him about it because he was responsible for ethics and this sort of thing at that time, and he said that he would speak to the past president—a member of the profession who was a past president of the C.M.A. and past president of the Alberta Medical Association who lives at Lamont, Alberta, and who was also the chairman of the ethics committee of the Canadian Medical Association. He asked him what he thought about the idea. He phoned me—I remember that I was at the convention in Waterton, I think. He phoned and told me that he had talked this over with this gentleman, and the two of them felt that it would be better if I didn't allow may name to be used in this way. That it was something that may be advertising. Q Yes. A: Maybe if I'd been older... Q: Closer to retirement... A: Yes. In any case, I didn't accept the honor. Q: Well, it was nice to be considered anyway. A: Yes. Q: I think they were stickier about what could be construed as advertising back then. A: Yes, there's been tremendous changes in that. But, to stay with this story, we got the Auxiliary Hospital started, and it too became a hospital that filled a real need in the community for long term care. Out of that need, we in Lethbridge eventually built the Southland nursing home, and what is now Extendicare and the Edith Cavell on 5th avenue. They came along very quickly. Q Because it was so evident that a need existed? A: Yes. It was a result of many, many ill people. People ill with chronic diseases, who needed long term care. So that's the story. But the Auxiliary hospital continued to be a locus, not the only locus, but an important one, of rehabilitation in the city and district. We brought in the first physiotherapist, trained in Australia, for the rehabilitation hospital. Anyways, that's the story of this hospital and its evolution from the Gait Hospital to Rehabilitation Hospital to Museum. TAPE 4 SIDE 2 Q: I knew that you had been instrumental in the establishment of the Gait rehabilitation centre just from some of the correspondence in your papers...while it gives one the idea that yes, you were definitely involved, but it doesn't really give you a clear picture of how much you were involved...to what extent you were involved. A: I'm going to tell you that now. Q. Good! How often did you visit your patients in the centre...you wouldn't visit them on a daily basis would you? A: It would depend upon their condition. For the most part, we would try to visit them once a week. Some of them, if they merited more frequent visits, they had them. Q: There have been some really miraculous strides in rehabilitative medicine from the forties to the nineties. A: Oh, yes. I can remember patients with coronaries, coronary thrombosis. In my early years of practice we would keep the patient in bed for three weeks, four weeks? Now they're up the same day! A: Surgery, say an appendix, would be in bed for a week or ten days, or hernias-same thing. Now they're home the next day! Q (Laughs) Or outpatients. My some had a hernia repair just before Christmas—it was day surgery. A: Is that right? (both laugh) Well, there's been tremendous change in the management of medical (which is the heart patient, for example) and surgical patients. Q: Even obstetrical. A: Exactly. They used to be in bed for a week to ten days. Q: Now they go home the next day. A: The next day. Yes its true. And its a good thing. We don't see the complications in surgical patients. We don't see the complications we used to see, you know, when we kept them in bed for a week to ten days. The first time they'd get up they'd have an embolism, from the legs. The whole gamut of medical care, certainly the drug programs, are changing so very fast that one finds it difficult to keep up. Q: Umhum... A: You know, to know how many drugs there are for, and what they're for, and so on. Its just incredible. Q: Yes, I had an uncle who died of pneumonia at the age of 22, in the thirties. That was a disease that you died from back then. A: Yes. You see we had nothing to give them. I told you about that young teenager with the rheumatic fever and the cortisone. That was a miracle, you know? Q Uh huh. It would be unthinkable now for a healthy 22 year old man to die of pneumonia in a city in this country. A: That's correct Except that the problem is becoming—its becoming more of a problem—the control of bacteria and other infectious organisms. The problem of the antibiotics losing their strength because of the resistance of the bacteria. This is becoming more and more a big problem. Q: Yes, I've read that, particularly in the U.S., Tuberculosis is becoming a problem in the large cities, because it is becoming resistant to the medicines... A: That's right. Q: I'd like to get back to the rehabilitation centre. Can you think of a patient that you could say the rehabilitation centre, or the establishment of the rehabilitation program here, made a difference for? Can you think of a patient who perhaps returned to a normal life who might not have done so, had it not been for the fact that there was a rehabilitation hospital and physiotherapists here? I guess that's a pretty difficult question. I suppose—I'm sure that there were such patients. I guess its difficult for you to remember a particular one. A: Definitely, definitely on both counts. We all had rehabilitation in our minds as part of our treatment program all the time. Like a patient with coronary thrombosis. I remember a nurses at St. Michael's Hospital. She was one of the first, in my eyes, who recognized that you don't let a patient just lying in the hospital after a heart attack—you don't let them cross their feet. That slows venous return down there in the leg you see? and may prevent a blood clot. That's maybe not rehabilitation so to speak, but that's sure preventative medicine. Q: Sure. A: Early on, it became apparent to me, and to other physicians, that you don't let your patient lie still in bed. Even back in those days, you had your patient doing exercises in bed. Isometric exercises, where you don't necessarily move a lot, but you tighten up your muscles in your arms...and you do the dame thing with the hips, the thighs, the calves and so on. That's good medicine. Good preventative medicine. Q Yes. A: You're sitting in an airplane? Don't just sit there, get up and walk. Go to the bathroom, go someplace. Don't just sit Q I'm sure though, that having a rehabilitation centre in Lethbridge, having trained physiotherapists, probably made a remarkable difference in some people's lives. A: I'm sure it did. Q People who had strokes, or terrible accidents, where they had to learn to do things all over again. A: Yes. And the same thing with regard to diabetes, or patients with lung trouble, breathing exercises. The use of exercises in breathing, medication would help the cough and so on....there's lots of rehabilitative medicine going on that you don't even think of as rehabilitation necessarily. The physiotherapist has a great place in medicine. Q: Can you talk a little bit about..this is going off on a completely different tangent here, but I don't want to forget about this...You were very involved with the Kinsmen in the early 50's A: Yes. Q Can you tell me a little bit about...I know you were on the executive, but were you the president one year? A: Yes. The Kinsmen is a young men's service organization. At the age of 40, well...you have to get out! From there, very often Kinsmen would move onto Kiwanis, or Rotary of Gyro or one of the senior service clubs. It was an enthusiastic service club. We were young, and we had young families. Everybody was the same...nobody was very rich, we all had about the same amount of money. They were good years. We had lots of fun. But we also worked hard. Q Yes. In the papers, there was reference to the "food for Britain"? A: Well, I'll finish this first. Q Okay. A: Yes, I was president of the Kinsmen club in Lethbridge. I was made a life member of the Kinsmen, and I'm still a member of what they call the "K-40 Club", that is Kinsmen after the age of 40. They're out of the Kinsmen club, but they still continue their association with Kinsmen. We get together once a year or so. Q: I think it was in the Kinsmen papers that a program called "Food for Britain" was mentioned, in 1946 or 19471 think? Tell me about that. A: Yes. Well, it was during the war. Q Oh, was it? Okay. A: Yes, and the National Association of the Kinsmen Club, they started a program of sending milk to Britain. I forget now, but I know it was thousands of pounds that we sent, of dried milk, you know. Yes. It was a national program that was very useful, very appreciated, and successful. Yes. All the Kinsmen, all across the country. Q: That's interesting, because I wasn't even aware of its existence. A: Yes, a very worthwhile endeavor or project. Q. There is kind of a women's auxiliary of the Kinsmen... A: Yes, the Kinettes. Q. Was Islay involved with the Kinettes? A: Yes, she was responsible for starting...she was responsible along with the wife of a banker in Lethbridge, for starting Kinettes in Lethbridge. Q: Really? A: Yes. Islay was the President. I guess the founding president, or the first president of the Kinettes. They had, they took care of social programs, to raise money, they used to have Saturday night dances sometimes at the old Marquis Hotel. Q: Really? A: Yes, where the Royal Bank is now. Q Oh, I remember the Marquis Hotel. It wasn't that long ago. How old were your children then? What years were your children born? A: I'll have to consult with my wife on that one. (both laugh) Q I know that Carolyn was born in the early 40's. Wasn't she? A: Yes, Carolyn was born in, was it 1943? No. Elizabeth Ann was bora in 1939, Carolyn in 1942, Judith in 1946 and Hugh James in 1949. Q: I know that it was after you came back from Montreal wasn't it? A: Yes. Our oldest girl was Ann. She was bom in 39 and died in 1942 when she was about three years old. Q Really. A: And Caroline was bom after that, I think in about 1942. And Then it was about five years or so. I'll get those figures for you. Q: Okay. What did Ann die of? A: She was never well. She was born impaired and she was never, never well. She developed a pneumonia and died. She was never able to function normally. Yes. Q Its very, very difficult to lose a child. A: Oh, its shocking, shocking. Q: You never really get over it, I think. A: No, no. Q Your children, in the 50's would have been, Caroline would have been...I'm thinking, I'm moving into... A: Do you know Caroline? Q No, but I think I've met your youngest daughter. She's a teacher? A: Yes. Grade one. Q: During the years that your children were in school, doing all the things that children do at that age, music lessons, dance lessons, Cubs and girl Guides and all the rest of it... A: You're right. Q Your wife must have been very busy. A: Yes, yes she was. Very busy. Q: You spent long, long hours at the clinic, and at the hospital and with your practice, and she would have been the chauffeur and the... A: Yes. She would be...I would be called out after supper to see a patient or down at this hospital. She, after supper would bundle the three kids into the car, and we would drive down here. They would sit outside there, where we're parked now. I'd come in and see the patient, and to keep themselves warm...we didn't have the heaters that we have now in the car. I mean, we had heaters, but they weren't like the ones we have now. To keep warm, they would sing, she'd lead them in songs. They would carry on, in rounds. Often they've remarked upon it. Q: Well, it was a good way for them to spend some time with their dad. I suppose that on your busiest days, when they were very small, they might not see you at all. A: Yes, but you know, I always made an effort to come home for lunch. Q: Ah, yes. A: And supper, yes. Looking back, I don't feel that I was put upon, or affected adversely by my profession. I don't think so. sure, I was away from the home, but I never felt—I knew what I was getting into when I went into it. There was a group of us. We always had at least 5, and as it grew there were more. But we, I think we gained by having our associates help us, and by helping them. I always thought that the way we practiced was a good "social" maneuver. It worked out very well, I thought. For all of us. Q: Well. I know from our talks and from your papers that your profession was what you felt you were meant to do. I suppose, in many ways, it was all good times. Even what we might call the "bad times", the challenges, the disappointments, were still experiences that you learned from. You could always find something positive in them. A: That's right. Islay had been a teacher before we were married. She had gone to the University of Saskatchewan, took her teaching training... Q Yeah, I think we had talked about that before. That she had been a teacher before you were married, and that she had then decided that she wanted to be a nurse, and that's when you met. A: Yes. And when we got settled in Lethbridge, and when the children were coming along, at an age when they were all in school, Islay went back to teaching, at Alan Watson School. Q Yes. Now we were back in the fifties here. What would you say was the most common reason for an office visit? And did that change over the course of your career in medicine? A: There are several. One is a checkup. You go in to see the doctor because you want a check up. That was one reason. More often than not, there were specific complaints. I didn't do much in the way of maternity work at all. So that wasn't a factor in my practice. I suppose stomach? Gastrointestinal, pulmonary, cardiac, circulatory, metabolic (diabetes and so on)...these were the reasons for people coming to me, or being referred to me. Q: Would you say that most of your patients were referrals? A: No. A lot of them were just my patients. The day of the...the practice of the specialist has changed. To the point where the specialist is confined in his work, by his own decision, to a rather narrow area of medicine. The cardiologist...well there is the cardiologist who is an internist, the cardiologist who is a surgeon, and gastrointestinal specialist who is just concerned with the bowel or the stomach, and another who is just concerned with the pulmonary, the lungs, or metabolic-with diabetes or thyroid disease or adrenal disease... Yes. This is more today than what it used to be. Then there would be a specialist, but he would be a specialist in general surgery, which would be stomach, appendix, gall bladder, thyroid... Q: Pretty well everything but the brain and the heart? A: Yes. The brain and the heart were separate specialties. You had neurosurgeons and cardiac surgeons. These specialist areas have become quite narrow in their scope. The internist is the person who is responsible for a whole range of illnesses including heart, lungs, gastrointestinal, metabolic, rheumatic fever and so on. Now, there are internists who do nothing but cardiology. Q When did you first begin to see that change toward fairly narrow specialization? A: Well, its been a gradual evolution. I don't really know if I can give an answer to that, but I would say that my impression is that it began about, say 15 years ago? And its been gradually moving that way ever since...narrowing. Q: I know that its been a positive thing, in many ways, simply because of the explosion of knowledge...it would be impossible for someone to be as well versed in every area as someone who concentrated on a narrow area of specialization. I know its been positive in that way. But do you think there's been a trade off? A negative effect in any way? A: I don't think so... Q: I just wondered. A: I don't think so. I took sick some years ago with arthritis. I think I was glad to go to Calgary to see an arthritis specialist. I think that's true. Yes, I think fiat's true. As long as there's somebody who's going to lead the orchestra. Somebody who's going to be in charge of me. Send me to whoever you want, but let me come back to you. Q: That's it. I think you'll see family physicians in this role...and I think you see internists in this role as well now. A: I agree. I think that this is how I felt, being an internist. Q Being the coordinator of care, the person who coordinates the whole management of that patient. A: That's true. Somebody has to lead the orchestra. Q I think that, when I mentioned the negative things, I think I had in mind...from some reading in this field. Sometimes there are patients who just get lost They get sent from specialist to specialist and there i s no one leading the band. A: Yes. It happens, and its very unfortunate. They are lost. That's a good way of putting it. Q Yes. And there doesn't really seem to be any mechanism within the system to prevent that. I suppose it is really the responsibility of the patients themselves to have a family practitioner or an internist, to coordinate their care. But if they don't have that, and they get lost, there's...there doesn't seem to be a mechanism in place to see that they get "found" again. A: Yes. That's true. But I think generally speaking, most doctors would recognize the need for this type of advisor, and if they are not able to fulfill that responsibility they would generally see to it that the patient gets somebody. The problem is to get somebody who matches. Some people don't like somebody else because...well for whatever reason. Q: Yes. Different personalities matter. I think that some patients feel comfortable with the doctor in a more or less paternal role..."I know what's best for you...do as I say, and everything will be fine", and other, probably many younger people now, are much more likely to want to be very involved themselves in the decision making process, and would resent a paternalistic type of situation. A: Yes. That's very true. I think that this is a very, very important area of medical care. Q: Yes, I'm very interested in it. It fascinates me to read about it. One can see where there are problems...problems do come up...situations that are not ideal for optimal healing. A: Yes. I think if I had one word to express this area of difficulty for patients, the word is communication. Proper communication, and an understanding by the physician, is one of the greatest needs of the patient. Q: Do you think that communication is one of the most difficult areas for patients? I know that its not like it was 40 years ago. I think that 40 or 50 years ago there was a tendency to see the "Doctor" as omnipotent. Even now, I think that one feels, in some ways, almost like a child when one walks into a doctor's office. Because he or she "knows things that I don't know". And because of that, its become difficult to communicate because it is not a communication between equals. A: That's right. That's true. Its a difficult area.
Access Restrictions
Public Access
Accession No.
19931081171
Collection
Archive
Less detail

Oral History Interview - Dr. Hugh Arnold (interview 5)

https://collections.galtmuseum.com/en/permalink/descriptions82111
Date Range
1994
Description Level
Fonds
Material Type
Recording
Accession No.
19931081172
Physical Description
1 audio cassette (digital file)
Scope and Content
The following transcript was prepared by Donna Kampen. Q I was going to kind of review what we'd covered so far, just to see where we're going, and see if we've missed anything important. A: Yes, you know, I wanted to mention the Canadian Society of Internal Medicine. I've got some m…
Material Type
Recording
Date Range
1994
Fonds
Dr. Hugh Arnold fonds
Description Level
Fonds
Physical Description
1 audio cassette (digital file)
Physical Condition
Excellent
History / Biographical
Dr. Arnold donated his papers to the Galt Museum and Archives in September 1993, with the provision that they be available for an independent study project done by University of Lethbridge student Donna Kampen, under the supervision of Professor Bill Baker of the Department of History. Donna Kampen organized Dr. Arnold's papers conducted a series of oral history interviews (8 audio cassettes) with Dr. Arnold.
Scope and Content
The following transcript was prepared by Donna Kampen. Q I was going to kind of review what we'd covered so far, just to see where we're going, and see if we've missed anything important. A: Yes, you know, I wanted to mention the Canadian Society of Internal Medicine. I've got some material on it at home, and I'm not sure if there's anything in the papers. I'm thinking particularly of the efforts of a Dr. Gilbert in getting the society up and running again. Q Really? A: Yes, you could say he was the "spark plug" who was responsible for getting it started up again and going. It had become quite dormant Dr. Gilbert was responsible for the rejuvenation of the Canadian Society of Internal Medicine. Previously, it had been called the Canadian Society of Specialists in Internal Medicine. Under his direction it became the Canadian Society of Internal Medicine. He was able to get a chap who was in Ottawa to act as the liaison in getting the Society recognized and active across the county. It has since that time (and 111 have to get those dates for you) become quite a healthy Board-a useful organization. I had a communication from the President of the society—they send out notices every now and again about one thing or another, and at that time I was prompted in my own mind to sort of get this history straight and submit it to the executive of the society. Just to sort of give them the background—the early history and the sort of slow birth and gradual activity and then sort of gradual petering out of activity. It now has become a very healthy organization. Now this is the sort of information that I'd like to get to the executive of the Society. Did you run across anything to speak of of a historical nature in any of the papers? I have some of the old minutes of meetings of the society, and I will send those to the President, but would you like anything that I've got here photographed or copied or made available in case you (or we) want them for what we've got here? Q Yes, I... A: Because once they go, they're gone. Q I think the more complete you can make the collection the better. A: I'll bring you what I've got. I know I've got them, they're sitting in my desk at home, waiting to be sort of properly prepared in a time sequence and sent off to Ottawa. I'll get those down to you. Q I don't recall anything at all in the papers, and I would remember. I classified those sort of things under "professional", and I would have created another category for that organization if there had been anything in your papers. A: I think I've had them out, ready to send to the Executive of the rejuvenated society and I have yet to get it done. It just occurred to me that maybe we had better have some of that material in case we want to incorporate it as part of this. Q Yes, I think its better if we have everything. Q Tell me about how a Doctor on the Canadian Prairies gets to be an Associate of the American College of Physicians. A: Yes... Q: Why was it important for you to be in the American College of Physicians? A: I think that the primary reason for becoming or wanting to become affiliated with the American College of Physicians is because of the fact that first, it was a professional body which afforded meetings, regional meetings on the Prairies, as well as annual meetings in various centres of the continent It was, in the United States as well as Canada and Mexico, a primary specialty group of concern to internists. The comparable body in Canada is the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. That body is responsible for establishing the qualifications for and setting of examinations for specialty qualifications for all of Canada Those members of various specialty groups qualify now...let me go back. At the time when I was first —when I first wrote my examinations for specialty recognition in interned medicine, and I wrote them to be recognized by both the Royal College, and my own provincial licensing body. At the outset, the Royal College recognized candidates for the various specialty groups in Canada by examinations, both written and oral. There was a second group who were recognized as being specialists in various areas by virtue of a written and oral examination, but they were not made fellows of the Royal College. As time went on, the College recognized that it was necessary to have both groups, those who were specialists without fellowships as well as those who were both fellows and specialists. Eventually the college established one criterion, and those who had been specialists without fellowship were brought into the College as Fellows and a single qualifying examination, written and oral, was established as the only criterion to establish a fellowship in the various specialties in Canada Is that clear? Or have I managed to mix you up? Q Yes, I think I've got a handle on it. If I don't, I can always clear it up next week. A: You see, we're talking about the Royal College. And the Royal College is a separate body, independent form the Canadian Medical Association and the various provincial bodies which are responsible for licensing and discipline within the various provinces. And also distinct from the various medical associates, of which there are one in each province. Q Yes we've talked about that before, and I think I've got it all sorted out. A: Yes. Its important to understand the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada exists as an entity in and of itself, and responsible for the setting of standards for examinations and the granting of specialty certificates. There are other Royal Colleges. There's one in London, and another in Edinburgh. Some of the British doctors who came over to Canada after the war, of which there were many...(quite a few of them came to Lethbridge) some of them had actually passed their fellowship examinations in Great Britain prior to coming to Canada. The American College of Physicians—I should just say here that in the United States there is the American College of Physicians and the American College of Surgeons. These are similar bodies which recognize specialists in various areas of medicine. When I say medicine I include surgery as well as the physician only group. There is another fellowship group which is called the American College of Cardiologists, and there is a fellowship which one can qualify for if one is a member of that group, too. Q. Yes A: The American College of Physicians (of which you asked the question originally). To become affiliated with it, one applied originally to become an associate. This is at the time when I was interested in becoming associated with the American College of Physicians because it was a vehicle which would enable me to participate in professional meetings with fellows who were interested in the same areas that I was. The organization had associates by invitation and /or application. In order to become associated with the American College it was necessary to move through the original qualification of being an associate. After having been an associate for a certain length of time, and having undertaken responsibilities which were laid down by the college, including giving papers and attending so many annual meetings of the College, one could the apply for fellowship in the American College. The opportunity afforded itself at about the same time as I became concerned with the Canadian Royal College. The American College of Physicians was having what we called regional meetings in Canada. The region was comprised of members of the American College in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It evolved that members who were fellows were responsible in helping establish a program whereby we had annual professional meetings at which papers were given. We had these meetings annually, originally, in various places of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The meetings were held-I might be a little hazy on this~in Banff in February, and sometimes we met in Regina, other times in Saskatoon and generally speaking, it was either in Saskatchewan or Banff. Banff was a favorite spot because in February, we could go skiing! Anyways, after several years as an associate, I wrote and presented papers, professional papers at the meetings of American College of Physicians, and ultimately, I was given my fellowship, by virtue of attending the meetings. I attended one meeting in Atlantic City and another in Miami, and the third one that I went to when I got my fellowship was in Chicago. Those regional meetings are still held. There was a period of time when they weren't held, because there were a rather large number of meetings which were causing problems—that Doctors were being called upon to attend. But that has come around now, so that in Alberta they have an annual meeting, and it is attended quite well. The American College of Physicians is a very healthy and active organization, and there are representatives from each of the regions in Canada who represent us at the annual meetings in the United States where ever they have their meetings. Q So its really an international organization...you mentioned Canada, Mexico and the United States. A: Yes, although there are others, who are certainly (honorary, or by virtue of outstanding reputations) made members of the American College of Physicians from other countries of the world. Q: Can you describe the path that you, personally, took to become a member. When you decided that you wanted to be first of all an associate...am I right when I say that you felt that being in this organization would allow you to exchange ideas with your peers that would be valuable to you in your practice? A: Yes, that's it. Q. Can you describe just what you had to do to become an Associate? A: Yes. There was an increasing number of Doctors who were being recognized as specialists in internal medicine by the Royal College, and there were governors for the various regions of the American College. These governors were in Alberta and on the prairies, practicing physicians. They were interested in educational programs for members of the American College who were Associates and/or fellows. Dr. Percy Sprague who was one of the early internists in Alberta. He graduated from the University of Alberta, he had taken his internal medicine training at the Mayo Clinic. He returned to Alberta to be the first internist with the Baker clinic in Edmonton. He was a spark plug in encouraging the membership of fellows like myself to become affiliated with the American College. It was fellows like Dr. Sprague and others who I knew had become members. Another example of a Doctor who had been at the Mayo Clinic and had come to Alberta is Dr. Steve Thorson. He worked with the Associate Clinic in Calgary for some time. He was an early fellow of the organization. It was through people like Dr. Sprague and Dr. Thorson, and several others from Saskatchewan and Winnipeg in Manitoba who were enthusiastic members of the American College, and educators. It was people like those who attracted many of the internists who became affiliated first as Associates, and then by virtue of attending meetings and giving papers became fellows of the College. Q: In your papers, there is a letter from Dr. Sprague to you offering to sponsor you in the American College of Physicians. Was that part of the process—to have another Dr. who was a member sponsor you? A: Yes. Q: More than one? A: I think we had two. Q: I think that maybe your other one was Dr. John Scott? A: Yes, I think so. Dr. Scott was a professor of mine at the University of Alberta, in medicine, and was eventually the dean of medicine. Actually, I wouldn't be sure that Dr. Scott was one of my sponsors, but certainly he may have been. Q: Dr., maybe? A: Yes, Dr. McNeil may have been. He was a fellow of the Canadian Royal College. He was an internist with the Associate Clinic in Calgary. He and I were associates at medical meetings, and in medical politics. Q: Actually, I think it may have been Dr. Scott. The process started very early, in January, 1953, when Dr. Scott wrote to you, offering to sponsor you. Then, at the end of 1953~it took almost a year from beginning to end-there is a copy of a letter from you to Dr. Scott advising him of your election as an associate member, and thanking him. I suspect that thanks may have been for sponsoring you. A: Yes. That would be for coming in as an Associate. Now, when I became a fellow, I do recall that-Frank Matheson was the name of the Doctor in Winnipeg who was a fellow of the American College, and he was another one of the spark plugs who helped get the American College going. He was instrumental in maintaining it as an excellent vehicle for education and meetings through the years. When I was granted my fellowship, I'm sure that Dr. Steve Thorson, who lived in Calgary and was an internist there, was the governor of our area—the Alberta area—at that time. I'm sure he was a sponsor in the fellowship. Q I don't think that your papers include anything from when you became a fellow. I'm just looking at the dates here for all references to the American College of Physicians and it is all 1953. A: I would have to get some of my diplomas out to get these dates. Q Your election as an Associate would have to have been in 1953,1 think, because you wrote a letter to Dr. Scott in December of 19653 advising of your election as an associate member of the American College of Physicians, and thanking Dr. Scott. (reading from notes) I suspect that there may not be anything in the papers, however, about your fellowship. A: That may be. But I've got the dates on that and my diploma Also, eventually, I became a life member of the American College. Q: I don't think there's any reference to that in the papers either. It would be nice if we could get a photocopy of those diplomas for the papers. A: Sure, we can do that. Q: There are a couple of references in the papers to the "board", or "board certification". Did you have to do an exam or anything like that for membership in the American College of Physicians? A: No, there's another body in the United States called the American Board of Internal Medicine. They are responsible for designating qualifications for a specialist in Internal Medicine. Now that's a separate body from the American College of Physicians. And I do not have my American Boards. I am not a specialist in the United States. Q: Did you investigate the possibility of...? A: Yes I did look into the exams. As a matter of fact I took them! I went down to Great Falls one day and they had these true or false type questions. I had 75 questions in the morning and another 75 in the afternoon—something like that. And I failed it. The reason I failed was because I hadn't boned up well enough on diseases of the tropics—tropical diseases. Q: (Laughs) Oh...well you'd certainly see a lot of those in Lethbridge! A: (Laughs) No, not too many. No, I just hadn't done my homework adequately on t hat aspect of it. And I never went back at it. But, I went down and gave it a whirl. Q: Yes, I thought I remembered seeing something on that. A: That's the American Boards. Q: What would be the equivalent Canadian body to the American Board. Would that be the Royal College. A: Yes, I think so. Yes. Q So the equivalent of the Royal College... A: No, the Royal College is like the American College of Physicians. Q: Is there a Canadian equivalent of the "Board"? A: No. The Royal College sets standards, and qualifying examinations for specialists in the various areas. The American College of Physicians is responsible for, I guess its a recognition of specialty qualifications without passing examinations. Q: (laughs) A: The American Board is, if you want to do a specialty in the United States in anything, you have to pass the Boards. Q Yes. I seem to have heard the phrase "board certified" somewhere in my reading. If you are "board certified", you are entitled to use the words "specialist in internal medicine" or "surgeon" or whatever. A: Yes. That's correct. I did this shortly after I had gotten my Royal College ticket. As I say, I didn't have to write this board, but I said to myself: "Why don't you just go and do it, just for the fun of it." And it was okay, it was good. The other thing I thought, was that anytime I had an opportunity of boning up, to keep myself abreast, that this was the way to do it. And whether I passed or didn't pass wouldn't really affect me one way or another. I'd like to have passed, but I didn't But that wasn't what was important. Q: Well, again, you hardly ever see tropical diseases in Lethbridge. (both laugh) I guess the major benefit for you from belonging to these organizations was participating in that exchange of information? A: Yes. Q Did you feel that it was keeping you on the "cutting edge" of what was going on in your profession? A Yes. And it gave me the opportunity to get in there and give some papers. The paper on myocardial infarction in Southern Alberta? Q: Yes, I remember that one from the papers. A: Well, I gave that one at a meeting of the American College at the University of Saskatoon. You know, I wanted to do those things, I liked the idea of doing those sorts of things. Q Are you like most of us--when you get yourself into a situation where you know you have to get something done you get yourself organized and do it, but if you don't have to do it, its easier to put it off? A: Oh that's true, but at the same time I would have to say that I think I probably tried to bite off a little more than I should have sometimes. I didn't practice that way. Q: No. A: But I tested myself as much as I could, in order to make myself be qualified to practice. Q: Yes, I guess you come up against a wall, and you can either sit down in front of it or break through and grow. A: That's right, that's correct. Q We probably have to be about forty or so before we realize that. A- (Laughs) Q I'd like to talk a little about AFFUREADA. Is that how its pronounced? A: Yes, that's just right. Q: We probably won't get finished tonight, but we'll start and maybe get back to it later. A: Well, at an early stage of our deliberations as a body-it wasn't just a medical body--there were teachers, professors from the University—there was a rather wide spectrum of representation on that AFFUREADA body. One of the things that we wanted to do was to determine what would be the best method by which we could do the most good in establishing a foundation to guide us in our proceeding to get something that was going to be useful and practical and successful. As a result, we went ahead as a body. As I said, I was the representative of the Alberta Medical Association. Q: That was through the Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse? A: That's correct. Eventually we arranged to have a professional group come in and advise us as to what was the best thing to do in the formation of a foundation and he various intricate developments necessary to make this thing work on behalf of the people of Alberta. We didn't have very much money, but we went ahead on faith. After we had finished our association with the consultants who had come in, who had given it a lot of time and travel and effort, and then submitted a report to us, it became time for us to pay! We moved ahead enthusiastically, but didn't have any real idea of where the money was going to come from. Q Yes. A: I went to the Minister of Health, who was a very nice lady—I can't remember her name...it'll come. Helen Hunley. Anyways, to make a long story short, she paid for it—the Department of Health paid for our effort at getting straight with regard to the direction that we should go. Eventually, we had the professionals represented on the board, after I think two or three years. I moved on—I didn't resign, but a new chairman of the committee was appointed. Appointments in the Alberta Medical Association are annual appointments, and I think I had been on it for two, maybe three years. Anyway, I left it, and a new chairman came on, and at that point AFFUREADA seemed to move about without a specific direction, and eventually we had to give up our status as a foundation. Q: I got the feeling as I read the notes and letters back and forth between the various groups that it was formed out of a very deep conviction that there was a need. A: Quite right. Q But it just didn't seem to be able to get everything all working together. A: The other thing was the fact that AADAC was moving along sort of parallel to what we were doing, and they, of course had funds from the Alberta government—they were a government sponsored and paid for body. Q But their focus wasn't research. A: No, it wasn't research, and that was really what AFFUREADA was focused on. Q So really, there was room... A: There was room for the two—parallel. Yes, there was. But what we aimed for, certainly in the formative period of time, was to establish a chair at the University of Alberta for research in Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. We even had the professor in mind to do it, but we just didn't seem to be able to get our teeth into a mechanism for raising funds to do what we wanted. There was a point at which we came up against a—it wasn't a brick wall—it was—it just seemed that there was nothing there left to get our teeth into as far as raising funds. Q: Yet there were times when it seemed from the tone of the letters in the papers like "this is it—we'll be able to get this thing done!" A" We thought so, we really thought so. But even so, there was the fact that the profession had, through AFFUREADA, brought to the attention of the professionals and the community the need for what we were trying to do. Q: Raised the level of awareness. A: Yes. I think that's probably true. Q. I'd like to go into this in a little more detail some other time. I'm also interested in your work on the Ethics Committee of the C.M.A. A: Yes, the questions that we were dealing with then, we are getting into even deeper now. Q: While you were on the ethics committee, it would have been right after Roe vs Wade—that was the Supreme Court Case on abortion in 1972 or 1973. A: Yes, I think so. Q: That would have been an extremely important issue for the medical profession-still is for that matter. A: Yes. Q: There are other issues such as euthanasia, patient confidentiality... A: Euthanasia was a—it was coming—it was raised at annual meetings during the time that I chaired that committee. It was a real problem. We got into the issues of living wills, and the problems which have been wrestled with over the last ten years and are still being wrestled with were just coming out into the open then. Q I think that probably that technology was developing so quickly at that time that the technology itself created questions that perhaps doctors hadn't had to face before. I'm thinking in terms of a question like: "What is death? Is it the absence of respiration ? No, its not, because we can keep them breathing, and we can keep the heart going." Eventually, I think its been determined more or less to everyone's satisfaction that when the brain is dead, the body is dead, whether or not you can keep it breathing. But it took a while. A: Yes the problem is that...You know, I think they're having a meeting here this week..the Committee on Public Affairs-didn't they have something on that this week? Q I'm not sure. A: Well, anyways, we can get to all that another time Q. Yes, its getting late. Next week then.
Access Restrictions
Public Access
Accession No.
19931081172
Collection
Archive
Less detail

Oral History Interview - Dr. Hugh Arnold (interview 6)

https://collections.galtmuseum.com/en/permalink/descriptions82112
Date Range
1994
Description Level
Fonds
Material Type
Recording
Accession No.
19931081173
Physical Description
1 audio cassette (digital file)
Scope and Content
The following transcript was prepared by Donna Kampen. Q You were telling me that you had cleared up some questions we had about some dates. A: Yes. There were some questions with regards to some of the organizations I've belonged to. Would you like me just to read them? Q: Sure. Tha…
Material Type
Recording
Date Range
1994
Fonds
Dr. Hugh Arnold fonds
Description Level
Fonds
Physical Description
1 audio cassette (digital file)
Physical Condition
Excellent
History / Biographical
Dr. Arnold donated his papers to the Galt Museum and Archives in September 1993, with the provision that they be available for an independent study project done by University of Lethbridge student Donna Kampen, under the supervision of Professor Bill Baker of the Department of History. Donna Kampen organized Dr. Arnold's papers conducted a series of oral history interviews (8 audio cassettes) with Dr. Arnold.
Scope and Content
The following transcript was prepared by Donna Kampen. Q You were telling me that you had cleared up some questions we had about some dates. A: Yes. There were some questions with regards to some of the organizations I've belonged to. Would you like me just to read them? Q: Sure. That would be great, then well have them on the tape. A: I'm afraid I haven't got them in chronological order. Q I don't think that matters. They'll be on the tape. A: Okay. After leaving high school—I think I've reviewed that part of my life through high school in Calgary, and then teaching north of Edmonton for a year, and then going on to university. I started in 1930 in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta, and took a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1934. Then, I proceeded into the faculty of medicine, and received my MD. in 1938. On July 6,19381 was registered with the Medical Council of Canada after having sat their examinations. This enabled registration in any of the provicinial jurisdictions in Canada. I won't have this chronologically. Q That doesn't matter. A: You'll be able to sort it out eh? Q: Sure. A: You were wondering about dates—particularly my fellowship in the American College of Physicians. That was granted on November 9, 1963. I interned at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal from July, 1939 until June 1940. I took a course at Harvard Medical School, at the Graduate School at Harvard, from January until May of 1953 in Cardiology—this was post graduate work. I was awarded membership in the Canadian Cardiovascular Society on March 16,1970, and I'm still a member of that body. (I think I have a life membership, but I'll have to check on that for you.) I wrote the examination in internal medicine at the University of Alberta, and was granted that certificate on May 13,1951. I had honorary membership in the Medical staff of Lethbridge Municipal Hospital granted on December 8,1983. I was granted life membership in the American College of Physicians on March 28, 1973. I am a life member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta. I am a life member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Oh, I'll just put this in. I was a member of the Lethbridge Housing Authority and was granted a voluntary service award by that body when I completed my years of service. Shall I go on? Q Sure. A: I was awarded a special certificate in Internal Medicine by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada on December 8, 1950, having sat that examination. I was granted a fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada on November 23,1972. I was granted the outstanding achievement award of the Medical Alumni Association of the University of Alberta on September 27,1972. I was granted senior life membership in the Alberta Medical Association on September 24,1976, and I was granted senior membership in the Canadian Medical Association on September 24,1976. That is indicative of life membership in that body. Q: Yes. A: I'm a past president and life member of the Kinsmen Club of Lethbridge. I'm a Past president and Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Club of Lethbridge, And I'm still a member of that body. I'm a past president of the Alberta Society of Internal Medicine, and past president of the Canadian Society of Internal medicine. I'm a member of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (and I think I'm a life member of that too, but I'll have to check on that). That's about enough. Q That's good though. Its good to have this on the tape. Other than getting it directly from you, I don't know how a future historian could find all that out, so now that its on the transcriptions (or will be) we've got it nailed down. A: Right. Q I think that we've covered a lot of ground, and the interviews that you had up in Calgary with Mr. Kirchner fill in a lot of blanks, but they brought up some points that I'd like to expand on a bit A: Right. Q In the 50's, did you see epidemics of diseases in Lethbridge? I'm thinking particularly of polio. A: Yes, I did. We had a polio epidemic—I can't just recall now. Q. The exact dates don't matter—probably the early 50's A: I can get the exact dates for you. Q That would be great. For now, I'm interested in it from your point of view—from the point of view of a physician. A: Yes. We had an epidemic of polio at that time. It was, I think, fairly general (I shouldn't say Canada, but I believe it was all through Canada—certainly in Alberta we had large numbers). Q I think I was in the rest of Canada as well. I can remember when I was a child-I was born in 1947—1 can remember my mother keeping my brothers and sister at home one summer. I can remember whining about wanting to go to my friend's house, and her telling me that there was polio around, and that we had to stay in the yard and just play with each other. That would have been in the 50's. A: Yes. There was a polio epidemic which affected a sizable number of patients in this area. We had wards in this hospital-The Gait hospital—given over to the care of polio patients. Q Did it affect mostly children, or... ? A: No, It didn't. It affected children and adults. The iron lung was used in some instances. Q You had an iron lung in Lethbridge? A: Yes, we had one in Lethbridge here. We also used beds at the old Isolation Hospital, which is on 7th Ave south. It is now an apartment building, but is was the isolation hospital at that time, and we used that hospital for some of our patients. The nurse in charge....well actually Miss Tennant, the nurse —no, the superintendent of nursing of this hospital—I shouldn't really say "superintendent"---but, yes I guess she was the superintendent— Q Was she the "Director of Nursing?" A: Yes, that's it! The Director of Nursing. She gave terrific, yeoman's service to the polio patients. She worked night and day for them, helping them, attending to their needs, and it was really a wonderful thing. A wonderful service. The superintendent of the isolation hospital, the director of nursing there, was Miss. Mildred Dobbs. She was always a tower of strength to people who had to be admitted to the isolation ward with polio or other infectious diseases that we had at that time. Q Could you mention some of them? A: Yes, we had scarlet fever, which was not infrequent, and it was caused by the streptococcus bacteria... Q Yes. A: It usually came on after an acute strep throat. It was a dangerous disease, because it sometimes affected the kidneys and patients went on to develop a nephritis—kidney disease, kidney failure, as a result of scarlet fever. With the advent of antibiotics, particularly penicillin, the bacteria-the strep bacteria was sensitive to penicillin—and as a result it wasn't too long until we could get the strep infection under control quite easily. With the strep infection under control, the diseases which were caused by strep infection, like scarlet fever, were almost wiped out. We seldom see scarlet fever ever now. Rheumatic fever was another disease which resulted from strep infections. It went on to cause damage to tissues throughout the body. This included the joints, certain tissues within joints—(this is the "rheumatic" component of the disease)— Q Yes. A: But more seriously, it also affected parts of the heart. The heart has several fibrous tissues. One being the pericardium, that's the outer lining of the heart, the other the tissues within the muscles of the heart itself—the myocardium, and also the valves of the heart—the mitral valve, the aortic valve. These valves were affected because they are fibrous tissue, and they were affected by rheumatic fever. People suffered from Rheumatic fever caused by strep infection, and here again with the advent of antibiotics and the strep infection coming under control, there was a spectacular reduction in these diseases. We seldom now see rheumatic fever. It still occurs, but to a negligible amount compared to before. Infectious diseases like diphtheria, whooping cough, measles and mumps, these have all come under very adequate control with the advent of immunizations at an early age. The use of vaccines-these have all come under control. They still occur, but only sporadically. Q I would imagine that immunization hasn't completely eradicated these yet. A: Not, it hasn't. Even polio has not yet been eliminated world wide. I talked to a friend in California who I did work with in Boston many years ago, and he has several sons...I think three sons who are practicing medicine, and one of them is working for the United States Public Health Service, and he is stationed in India, and he is concerned with the control of polio in that part of the world. He had just come back from reviewing the state of polio in Indonesia—come back to his headquarters in India, when my friend, the doctor who I mentioned previously—his father—had been over in India, and was acquainted with what his son is doing in that area. They have not won the battle completely. There is still a lot of polio to be eliminated, and polio is still present to some degree in the South American Continents, and certainly in Southeast Asia. Q Do you think that... A: I should say, before finishing this particular subject, the advent of "flu shots", now is such that the public Health people throughout the world can anticipate what type of viral infections are likely to occur from year to year, and where they're liable to occur. This gives rise to anticipation and the delivery of vaccines, or as we call them now, "flu shots" Certain age groups (and I happen to be in one of those age groups—the elderly), are advised to have flu shots or vaccines in the fall of the year in preparation for the colder weather in certain parts of the world. So the advent of almost annual infections of influenza of some type has prompted the use of certain maneuvers in preventing them. Q: What sort of public health precautions were taken during the polio epidemic of the fifties? A: Certainly there was great concern in the schools, in the school population. Q: I wondered if the schools were ever closed. A: I don't recall, but I can soon find out with regard to isolating groups of people, and the question of meetings in sizable groups such as schools, the theatres, church etc. These were all of concern to the public health people, and the medical profession. Q If one member of a family contracted polio, was the rest of the family quarantined at all? A: I don't think so. But I can find out for you, and I will. Dr. Cairns, whom I worked with, was a pediatrician, and during his tenure as an intern in pediatrics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto where he took his pediatric training, there was a polio epidemic. He was exposed to many, many cases of polio, particularly in children. The diagnosis was made wi A the examination of the spinal fluids, and Dr. Cairns was an expert at the diagnosis, management and treatment of Polio. I'd be pleased to speak to him, and get more information for you. Q: Yes, that would be interesting. A: I'll do that for you. Now, at the old hospital, on 7th Avenue, that I spoke about, which has been renovated and is used as private suites, its now a housing development, and we don't have an isolation hospital anymore. Q: No. A: We still use separate techniques with certain patients in the acute hospitals... Q: Isolation rooms? A: Yes. And this brings to mind my experience with a case of typhoid fever. We seldom saw typhoid fever, but during my training in Montreal, we had a small occurrence (I won't say epidemic) of typhoid fever in Fort MacLeod at one time, and I was entrusted by the Doctor in charge to go and see the patient to see what signs of fever were developing at that time. Fortunately, we had chlorimycetin, an antibiotic which had been developed and was becoming available at that time, and was found to be helpful in the treatment of typhoid fever. The patient I speak of was given that drug and responded quite successfully. Q: Were any public health measures taken at that time, was there any concern that t here might be a carrier? A: Yes, they did study the environment of the patient to determine whether or not there was a "typhoid Mary" about. Typhoid Mary was a... Q Yes, I remember... A: I think she worked in a kitchen or had something to do with food. Q: Yes, a cook, I think. A: She spread the disease rather spectacularly. I don't remember them finding any specific carrier in the case I speak of. We did have another unrelated case though. I was called out to Coaldale to see a boy in his early teens who had been swimming in one of the irrigation ditches. He had typhoid fever. It was proven by tests that he had typhoid fever and he was put under treatment. These cases were put under separate technique in hospital, and both of them responded successfully. Q Do you remember any other incidences of epidemics of infectious diseases during your years of practice in Lethbridge? A: The only thing that I would have to say is in my early years of practice in Lethbridge, there was a rather loosely controlled public health program with regard to venereal diseases. There was a fairly open type of red light district in Lethbridge—this goes back to the late 30s. We had a rather high —I shouldn't say high—but certainly we had a significant incidence of venereal disease including gonorrhea and syphilis. Q: So neither disease was uncommon in Lethbridge at that time? A: Not uncommon at all. That time was just prior to the advent of antibiotics, particularly penicillin, and penicillin was a drug which was helpful in the treatment of both diseases. There were other drugs which we used, particularly in patients which had some of the secondary effects of venereal disease, particularly in syphilis we used some of the heavy metals such as arsenic and bismuth. We gave them these drugs into the muscles. Q Were they effective? A: They helped to some degree, but they weren't really a cure. Q: Were there procedures in place...I'm not really sure, but I think that now, if a physician discovers a case of venereal disease, is he or she not obliged to report it? A: Yes. Some of those were reportable diseases. And there was to some extent, some reporting. Yes, there was. We had one Doctor here in Lethbridge who was in charge of the public health laboratory downstairs in the lab area of this hospital, and he was responsible for public health-he was a doctor concerned with public health. Q: I suppose there has always been the ethical dilemma that physicians face between protecting the patient's confidentiality on the one hand, and protecting the public on the other.. A: Yes. That's true. But we had no hesitation in reporting, for the most part. There was a lot of concern, though. But as long as there was a red light district, in existence and active, we were going to have venereal disease. And we did. Q: What would you have estimated the incidence to be? A: I'm not sure. I've got a book called Booze, which outlines some of the activities of that era, but the houses were right here—just this side of fifth street (west). Did I tell you about driving down there one night? Q No.. A: Did I tell you about the lady—she was in charge of this group of girls from, I think, Drumheller. They moved around from Lethbridge to Drumheller. She had a gall bladder condition—the lady who was in charge—the madam. For some reason, she came to me about here gall bladder. She'd never have it out, she said she was too busy. But I remember one night, it was a Saturday night I believe, and she called me at my home and told me she was having this bad gall bladder attack and she'd have to have a hypo. Now this would have been about two o'clock in the morning. I said, "Okay, I'll come over." Which I did. I got in my car and drove down—we were living on 13th street. I drove downtown and got onto Fourth avenue. She was in a house right close here, on fifth avenue and about third street I think. Q: Uh huh... A: Now when I got across fifth street, I was aware of the fact that there was a policeman falling in behind me. And he followed me all the way. I went straight to the door of the lady's place. Now she conducted her business with several girls. On the front verandah there was sort of a glassed in or screened verandah. Now in this area were what you would call now the "Johns. They were buying booze out there while they waited, I guess. Q What happened then? A: Well, he followed me in his car right up to the door. I got out of the car, and got my bag, and as soon as he saw my bag he turned around. Never followed me a step further. Q: (Laughing) I guess he had figured out why you were there. A: Yes. And I walked through this group of Johns, who were having there drinks, and she took me in the bedroom, and I gave her the shot, and then got myself out of there. Q. (Laughing) Did you have any other...were any other prostitutes your patients?--! imagine they would be some Doctor's patients. A: Yes. They'd have to be. Because they weren't without medical needs. Q: Sure. A: I don't remember ever having any others though. I do remember some of the men coming in though, when they had symptoms of the disease. And I remember one— maybe I shouldn't mention this—but she was a lady, a real nice lady, about 30 or so, her husband was stationed here, I forget in what capacity, she came in one day with a rash, and I looked at it and thought "oh, no." It turned out to be secondary syphilis, and she had gotten it from her husband. It was a sad situation. I don't like to even talk about it. Q: Yes, it would be. A: An innocent girl. Q It must have been very difficult for you, to tell her what she had. A: Yes, very difficult. Q: Yet, she had to be told. A: Oh yes. It had to be treated. It was very sad. Those are things that are better left unmentioned. Q: Well, not really. They happened. Yes, yes. Unfortunately they did. Q I know that you didn't practice obstetrics at all, although you were probably called in... A: No, I didn't practice obstetrics at all. I saw the occasional patient when they were pregnant, but these were then transferred to the care of one of the Drs. Haig. One of our Doctors, Dr. Lloyd Johnson came along just after the war, and he practiced obstetrics, and he did all our obstetrics after he came. Q: Would you be consulted by the other doctors in the clinic though, if they had a case of a pregnant woman with say an existing heart condition or diabetes or something? A: Yes. If there was a medical problem I often saw them. Q I'm thinking of the maternal death rate back then-in the 40's and 50's. It had decreased significantly by the 80's had it not? A: Yes, I think that...yes I think that those statistics have improved a great deal. Q In the first years of your practice, when women died in childbirth or immediately post partum, what did they die of? Infections? A: I think infections—yes, certainly prior to the advent of antibiotics that would be the main cause. Q Were C sections performed as often as they are now? A: No, not so often, but when they were indicated, they were done. Dr. Peter Campbell, of the Campbell Clinic, was the "Dean of Medicine" in the South for some years. He was an examiner for the Canadian Medical Council, which I believe I've mentioned. Q: Yes. A: At the time of our examinations for the medical Council of Canada, he was the one who handled obstetrics. Q. Did you recall, were there many home births in the late 30's when you first got here? A: Not many. But I remember...! was sort of the new boy on the block here... Q And you got sent out? A: One afternoon, no one evening, a man from I think it was Turin, north of Picture Butte, phoned in and said that his wife was having a baby and he needed a doctor, and he wouldn't bring here in. so one of the Drs. Haig said: "I don't know, you better go on out there, Arnold, and deliver that baby." This was before, well, I forget the exact time, but it was certainly early in my years. So I said: "Okay, I'll go out." And I thought that I would take my wife with me because she had some experience with nursing. Q Yes. A: She wasn't a registered nurse, but she had some experience. And I thought, I'll take Dr. Cairns, he was a pediatrician. And he came too. So I thought I was well armed. Q (laughs) A: So we got out there, and the lady was just ready to have her baby. I was careful, I had made sure there was water boiled and cooling off, and had her in position to have the baby properly—got everything hunky dory. Things were ready to cut the cord, and I'd done everything antiseptic. I got myself washed, and came along into the bedroom, hands held up like this (demonstrates) and pulled up the cover that they'd put on here, and there was the baby—born! Q: (Laughs) A: She'd done it all by herself. With no difficulty whatsoever. And no help necessary from me. It wasn't her first baby. That was my only experience of being present at a delivery in a home. Q Yeah. I think that in the 20's possibly, home births were quite frequent. A: Yes. Quite frequent. By the late 30's, early 40's, they were uncommon. That was the only one I knew of. Q: Although moms were kept in the hospital far longer than they are now. A: Oh yes. Seven days, ten days. Oh yes. This was the same for all surgery. Appendix was in bed for seven or eight days. Hernia, we kept them in for a couple of weeks. Oh yes. Q: What do you think of the fact that they send the moms home now after 24 hours? A: I think its great. Q Well, I was talking with a friend, and we both wondered a little about it. You know, in Europe, where there are still many home births, or when mothers go home after 24 hours, there is a midwife or public health nurse who drops in daily just to make sure everything is going OK. But I don't think we have that set up here yet, so I worry about it a little. A: Yes. That would be an advantage, or a reassurance. But I would rather have the system we have now, by and large than the one we had then. Q. Yes, childbirth is not an illness. A: No, its a natural procedure. Q: But I think that years ago there was more of a support system in terms of mothers, sisters, aunts, etc. A: I think you're right. There were families who just loved to take care of people. Q: Yes. And I think that years ago women who were of an age to be grandmothers, in their fifties, were in a situation where they could take a few weeks off to stay with their daughter or daughter in law or niece. Now, most women of that age have full time jobs. A: Yes, its a different society. Q I suspect that there might be some problems, without procedures in place for home visits. A: Yes, I think you may be right. Q: I want to talk about the whole medicare thing. In Lethbridge of course, when you first began practice, there was a form of prepaid medicine. A: Yes. I've always practiced in an environment of prepaid medicine. Q: Do you recall in the early 60's in Saskatchewan...! think it was 1961 or right around there...Were Doctors in Alberta, and specifically in Lethbridge concerned about the Saskatchewan situation? A: Yes, we were. We were concerned that the state was going to take over the practice of medicine. We were concerned about the Tommy Douglas vision of medical care by the state. We in Alberta had had experiences with prepaid medical care through the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District, the contracts with the CPR, the Teachers and other groups, the private contracts that individual families could take with the Doctor, and for 20 or 25 dollars a year they would be covered for all office calls, all hospital calls, 50% for maternity, 50% for surgery, and this was a form of prepaid medical care. Q. Yes. A: And it worked very well! The Doctors, I've told you, I believe, made quite a good living from the prepaid medical programs, including the private contracts, because the private contracts were taken out by a lot of people who could afford medical care, but they very seldom ever came near the doctor. It was a form of insurance for them. And, of course, at that time $25 was more than it is today. Q Oh, yes. A: Things were different. Yes. But what we had then, the medical care which came in as a result of what Saskatchewan was experimenting with, or attempting to establish. Eventually, we had moved, at that time from individual contracts to what was called MSI, Medical Services incorporated, which was Doctor sponsored medical care through premium payments by individual people. The medical profession ran it—they were responsible for it. Dr. Steve Smalz, who was here in Lethbridge and as a medical practitioner had come previously to practice in Taber moved into Lethbridge with Dr. Louis Roy. Dr. Smalz eventually became the medical director of MSI Alberta. He moved to Edmonton and became the general Manager there. MSI was prepaid medical care run by the profession, and it worked very well. The medical profession was happy, and the recipients, that is the people, were happy too. Q It wasn't universal though was it? It was voluntary. A: It was voluntary. The provincial government in Alberta decided that this was a good plan, and they wanted to make it more general and acceptable to the population at large. They were responsible for the inauguration of the Alberta Health Plan, which provided for medical care for everyone in the province. The details with regard to payment I don't want to get into at this point, but this was the difference between that plan and MSI. It went from Doctor sponsored to government sponsored. Then, the federal government came into the picture, and medicare was instituted across the country. It provided for the four basic criteria: Universality... Q. Um, there's universality, accessibility? A: Portability...there's four of them Q. Yeah, I know... A Yes, portability. You could carry it from province to province...Anyway, this replaced the pre-existing programs in the various provinces, including Alberta. To me, it has been a very good form of provision for health care in our country. Q I think most Canadians would agree with you. A: Its an excellent plan. I think we're in danger, to some extent, of it becoming fragmented at this time, but I think wise heads will prevail and hopefully, we will not go backward. I hope not. Q So, as a practitioner, would you say that you didn't really have any problems with it? A: No. Again, I may be repeating myself, but before the MSI program came in, and before the Alberta Health Plan, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta was responsible for helping establish and maintaining a payment of medical care for senior citizens, old age pensioners. Q Yes, I think we've talked about that. A: The Government gave the College a lump sum payment and said now distribute this to your professional people throughout the province in return for providing health care to old age pensioners. We got sometimes much less than what we would have gotten if we had been charging a regular fee, but at least these people were getting medical care, it was paid for by the government, and the profession, through the College of Physicians and Surgeons, administered the funds. That worked out very well, for everyone concerned. Q Do you think... A: That was replaced, of course, when we came to medicare. Q Do you think that a profession-administered health care plan might have worked just as well, or better, than the government administered one? A: It did. Q. But MSI didn't cover hospitalization, did it? A: I don't think it did. Q: I think one had to have some sort of separate coverage, like Blue Cross or something. A: Yes, you're right. Blue Cross came into the picture at right about that time. That's right. Q I'm wondering which was more expensive. I wonder about the relationship of what one might have paid to MSI and Blue Cross back then compared to what one pays for Alberta Health Care now? A: That's hard to judge, because everything has gone up. Q Yes. I wonder though, if the relationship between the average monthly wage and the payment is about the same, though A: Yes, I would estimate that its probably much the same. You know, when you consider the cost of a loaf of bread, and the cost of a suit. I would probably say that it is much the same. Q: Remembering back to those days, were the doctors of your acquaintance upset with the plan to the point where any of them left the country, or...? A: I knew of a few who left the country. A few. Relatively few. Q And their feeling was that they wanted to be in control of how they ran their practice...? A: I think so, I think that's probably the reason. The other reason is that fees were higher in the United States. At the same time, one must consider or have in mind the fat that the British Plan had been established in the United Kingdom, and they had medical care provided... Q; Did you not have a large number of British Physicians emigrate to Canada at that time? A: We had a large number of British Physicians who came to Canada. A large number who came to Lethbridge. Q. Was their any resentment from Canadian born physicians of this large influx of British Physicians. Was there ever a feeling of "the pie is only so big, and if we have to cut it up in too many pieces we can't make a living", or... A: No, I don't think we ever had that feeling. We were happy to happy to have physicians come. There were many well trained doctors who came to us in Canada who were, who contributed to the maintenance of good standards of medical care. Yes, that's what I would be convinced of. I'm sure of that. We needed them. We weren't producing enough—we weren't putting out enough doctors from our own medical schools to adequately take care of the medical needs of the country. Q: Yes, when I think of the hours you had to work in the 40's you were probably glad to have the load lightened a little. A: Yes, we were glad. And I can think right off the top of my head of many doctors who are good, good doctors who came to us from Great Britain. We considered ourselves fortunate to have them. Q Do you think that some, or many of these Doctors emigrated to Canada because of the socialized medicine issue? A: That's probably one reason that they came. There were other factors, though, I think. The mood of—the system in England was sort of a panel system of doctors, and the doctor would have a panel of patients. And he would take care of those patients, irrespective of the cost, and patients were given to him. He would just get them. Q: So there was no choice. A: This was the matter of choice, yes, as I know it. Again, there are still living in Lethbridge doctors who could give accurate answers to those questions, because they are still here. Some of them are still practicing here. Mind you, most of them who came during that time are retired, but still living here. Q Yes, but I was interested in your perception of it, so... A: Well, my perception was just as I've stated it. It just improved...well I shouldn't say "improved" because we had a good quality of medical care here...but I think that they did in no way cause any impingement on the quality of our care of patients here. Q. And there was no resentment or feeling of... A: I wasn't aware of any. Personally, no. Q: Well, its a quarter after... A: Yes, that's enough for today.
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Accession No.
19931081173
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Archive
Less detail

Oral History Interview - Dr. Hugh Arnold (interview 7)

https://collections.galtmuseum.com/en/permalink/descriptions82113
Date Range
1994
Description Level
Fonds
Material Type
Recording
Accession No.
19931081174
Physical Description
1 audio cassette (digital file)
Scope and Content
The following transcript was prepared by Donna Kampen. A: The more I've been thinking about this, as time has gone on in this review of the events of my life, I feel that, just as I said with regard to St. Michael's Hospital, I feel quite convinced that history very often repeats itself, an…
Material Type
Recording
Date Range
1994
Fonds
Dr. Hugh Arnold fonds
Description Level
Fonds
Physical Description
1 audio cassette (digital file)
Physical Condition
Excellent
History / Biographical
Dr. Arnold donated his papers to the Galt Museum and Archives in September 1993, with the provision that they be available for an independent study project done by University of Lethbridge student Donna Kampen, under the supervision of Professor Bill Baker of the Department of History. Donna Kampen organized Dr. Arnold's papers conducted a series of oral history interviews (8 audio cassettes) with Dr. Arnold.
Scope and Content
The following transcript was prepared by Donna Kampen. A: The more I've been thinking about this, as time has gone on in this review of the events of my life, I feel that, just as I said with regard to St. Michael's Hospital, I feel quite convinced that history very often repeats itself, and what I experienced in the late 1920's and early 1930's when we had a period when the economy was difficult for everybody, and then we came out of that with the advent of the war and so on. How much each particular event was responsible for the changes that occurred, I don't know. I wouldn't attempt to fit those events into any particular waxing and waning of our society, or particularly the economy of our society, but the more I think back on what we've done and reviewed, the more I feel quite sure that we're having a repetition. Its known to the economists of the world that there is a cycle, and I think that we'll see the same thing. When we talk about St. Michael's Hospital—we're having to cut back at this time, and there was a time when we had to cut back on many other things. Then we came out of it. And I think we'll come out of it again. We're on the way out now. There definitely is a cycle, in everything in life. To review the past, is to have a fairly good idea of what might happen in the future. Q: I think for those of us who are interested in history, or who do history, that's why we do it. Its intellectually satisfying to see those patterns, to try to answer the question of why things are as they are. A: That's right. And I think that it gives us some reassurance and some optimism in regard to our lives, and our society. Q I think that optimism isn't misplaced. Even with regard to what's happened in the last five years or so, when our economy seems to have slowed down, optimism isn't misplaced. A: Its interesting, when we contemplate the subject that started us here, the subject of St. Michael's Hospital. You know, The Sisters came into this community and built a beautiful hospital for its time, in this city, and things weren't good economically. We were still in a period of depression as I recall it. Yet they had the faith to come in here and build a hospital, which for the population that we had, of 15,000 people, or maybe even less, they had great faith. Q: Yes. A: And it behooves us to recognize that inevitably, at some point in the future, we're going to have twice as many people, and we're going to need these hospitals, we're going to need people trained in these hospitals, so I think we have to be optimists. Q I do too. A: Now, there's been something sort of hanging in the back of my mind here, some unfinished business. I looked up some dates, and that sort of thing, did I give them to you? Q Yes, you did, the last time we talked, just at the beginning. A: Oh yes. That's right. Q As you're reading through them, (We started back in January) you may see something that you want to expand on, or something that will remind you: "Oh, I was going to get that". A: I'll make a note of those things. Q: Sure. Just write right on the pages, and we'll fill in whatever blanks we find. There's no rush. A: You know, I was reading through them the other night, and really, I think its quite an enjoyable read. You know, I didn't go to any pains to correct your grammar or mine—its just typed exactly the way we said it—but its kind of interesting. I thought, as I was reading it, that if I had just come across this transcription, I would have been interested in it all the way through. Q That's good. Q Last week we talked about Medicare, and I think we pretty well covered everything. There's only one issue that we haven't really covered. I think it was more of an issue back in the 70's, but its still an issue in some of the other provinces, and that's extra billing or balance billing. A: Extra billing. Yes. Q: Do you remember what was the attitude of Doctors in Lethbridge toward that issue? Did you extra bill? A: No. Never did. Q: Uh hum... A: I would have to say as a statement, that there was very little if any extra billing in Lethbridge or the Lethbridge district. Q: That would fit with my personal experience. Those were the years when I was having my children (and you know, when they 're small it seems like you see a doctor far more often that when they get a little bigger), but I never experienced extra billing. I know, though, that it was an issue, particularly in the 70's. A: Yes. You see, you do know what extra billing was... Q Yes, I think so.... A* The Doctor would be paid a certain percentage of the College fee, what was called the college fee in those days. At that time the College of Physicians and Surgeons was responsible for setting the fee schedule. When the government came into the picture with the Alberta Health Plan and subsequently the Medicare Plan when the federal government came into the picture later, you see, the fees were taken over then by the Alberta Medical Association. The fees were specified for office calls and various procedures—maternity, surgery, and so on. These fees were laid down by the Alberta Medical Association subsequent to the college. They were laid down. But they were a percentage, 80%, maybe 85% of the college fees, was paid to the doctors. The balance between that 80% or 85% and 100% was sometimes charged to the patient by the doctor. That's what we called extra billing. You know, I recall saying to one of the...let me go back just a bit. The general Manager of MSI, Medical Services Incorporated, (that was a Doctor sponsored pre-paid medical plan). The general manager was a Dr. Smalz, Steve Smaltz, who practiced here in Lethbridge, after coming from Taber. He was asked to, and he did become, the general manger of MSI. He moved to Edmonton. He had an assistant who was a practicing physician, and who joined MSI as an assistant to Dr. Smaltz, and he-let me go back just a little bit again. The President Elect of the Alberta Medical Association, annually, used to go on a tour of the province, and would speak to different medical societies throughout the province. As a guest along with him, he would often invite the president of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and also some representatives of MSI, to get the point of view of the economics of the profession. And that, was wrapped up, in part, with our relationship with MSI. I remember the year when I was President¬elect of the Alberta Medical Association. Dr. Frank Christie was the President of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the representative of MSI was an assistant to Dr. Smaltz. He came along, at the invitation of the President. Q Uh hum... A: I remember talking to the MSI Doctor, to the effect that it seemed to me that MSI was (and this—I don't know if we should even print it—). But its riveted in my memory, speaking to him on one occasion when we were on our tour, and telling him that I thought that extra billing was a cancer in the economic milieu of medicine as it related between the Doctor and the patient And he corrected me. He said that it isn't a cancer, but it might be an acute infection which could be controlled and cured. A cancer was too strong, because a cancer maybe couldn't be cured. Q: Ah.. A: I never forgot what he said. It was a problem that didn't cause too much of a problem with most people, but did cause problems for some. Both with Doctors and patients. I never forgot that. And I changed my attitude towards extra billing to some degree, but I never did extra bill, and I did not at that time or at any other time believe that it should be practiced. But that didn't mean that I didn't agree that some physicians felt justified, and if they so felt, they should charge it—do it. Q So you would defend their right to extra bill, even though you didn't agree with it. A: I didn't agree with it, but I would defend the right of Doctors to so practice. Q: I think if its handled properly between the doctor or the doctor's office and the patient...so that the patient knows up front. A: Exactly. So, extra billing, yes, if a Doctor so decided. In practice, in Lethbridge, there was very little of it, so far as I know. Q And now, I don't think there's any at all. A: Well they can't! The federal government has said that if you extra bill, we will not share the finances with the provinces. You see, health is a shared cost. Q Yes. A: The federal government says: "OK, if you extra bill—we don't think it should be practiced, so we cut off your share of the money." So the provincial government says: "Okay. You better behave, or we're not going to get paid, so no extra billing". This was an arrangement arrived at by the provincial government and the practicing doctors. Arranged through the Alberta Medical Association subsequent to the College having, as I said before, been the party which dealt with the government. Maybe I haven't made that clear enough. The College of Physicians and Surgeons was responsible at one time for financial arrangements between government and Doctors. That made way for—the Alberta Medical Association took over that function. Q Originally, it was the College that set the fees. A: Yes. Q: So before there was even MSI, the College set the fee. They said to Doctors, for an office visit, this is what you should be charging. And Doctors were free to charge more or less if they so chose? A: Yes. As I recall, the answer is yes, that's true. But during the years that I was associated with the Alberta Medical Association, that arrangement was transferred from between the government and the College to the government and the Association. Q: And that's still the case now. A: As I understand it, yes, it is. Q: The fees for different procedures are worked out between the AMA and the government, Alberta Health care? A: Well, let's put it this way. I don't think that the fees are negotiated or arrived at after consultation between the government and the AMA. I don't think that's correct. Q: Uh hum... A: I think that the AMA set their fees. This is very touchy. Because If you say that its the Association and the government who set the fees, that's not true. This is very touchy, very sensitive. The doctors are touchy as to who has the say in setting their fees. Q Well, as they should be. A: Exactly. At this point in time, there is a move, or at least a projected method of determining or setting the value of the doctor's service. They are discussing it at this time, and have been discussing it for years. What they are attempting to do is to establish a relative value schedule for fees. Relative value—what does that mean? Well, I think it means that if one procedure has a value what's the next procedure-what's its value in term of the first. Q They are looking for a correlation between the two? A: Yes. The length of time the procedure takes, what is the procedure, what's the responsibility, what's the training necessary to do it, and so on. This would constitute a relative value fee schedule, which is in the process of evolution at this time. But, its not yet accepted. Q I think that the way lay persons like myself get the wrong impression is when we read in the newspapers: "Doctors accept 5% cut". We assume that the fees for each procedure have gone down by 5%. Or "Doctors agree to 2.3% increase". Is that not the way it works? I just assumed that if normal any obstetrician charges Alberta Health care for pre natal care, the delivery and the immediate post natal care, oh, say $600, that when I read in the newspapers: "Doctors agree to 5% cut", that that fee would be reduced to $570. Am I wrong there? A: Well, I'll start out by saying I don't know. Q: Oh. A: Its a good question. I say I don't know because what do we mean when we say we'll take a 5% cut? What do we mean? I'm not sure I know myself. Probably it means that the government will contribute 5% less to the profession for the total pie. The whole pie. They don't cut a piece off the pie and throw it out. They take the whole pie and say: "We're going to make it a little smaller"~5% smaller. Q What happens, though, if the pie is only 95% of what it used to be, and each doctor continues to see the same number of patients and does the same number of procedures, is the pie not going to run out 95% of the way into the fiscal year? A: Well, this would depend entirely on what happens to the fee schedule as determined by the Association. They will determine where the cuts will occur, the medical profession. Q Okay... A: The government—they're are perfectly honest and aboveboard. They say: You've got to cut by 5%~so where do you want to cut?" Q. I see. A: So the profession will sit down and try to determine how they will cut this pie to make it smaller. And they'll try to anticipate any inequities which are apparent or liable to occur. You see, when you start looking at this sort of thing you have to determine: Okay, where's the bulk of the cost of the practice of medicine to the government coming from? I don't know, but I would guess office calls. So I guess that maybe the price of an office call would be cut from maybe $20 to $ 15. I don't know. But its one way, for instance, of arriving at something which will be equitable for the rural doctor and the city doctor. Q But it seems to me that there will be situations where some doctors will be in growing practices due to population shifts and logistics and where they establish their practice. And other doctors who are retiring gradually--! think many doctors who are approaching retirement age begin to gradually cut their practices back—no new patients, for example. It think its quite unusual for a doctor to go from working 12 hours a day to zero. Its often a more gradual process. So there would be that to take into consideration too. Something like a 5% cut, or a pie that's 5% smaller—its going to be pretty tricky to administer that. A Yes. The government, when they announce a 5% cut-they don't tell you where to cut it. They're quite fair actually. The profession decides. The profession understands the situation and accepts it. Q: Well, I don't think any of us has much choice. A: Well, doctors are good citizens, and we recognize what's going on, and the government tells the Association, the profession in Edmonton: "You figure it out." And they do. They've got their economists and so on. They will arrive at something that's going to be equitable across the board for most doctors. Q Yes. A: Sure they will. Q Yes. That makes sense. But I'm sure that most people who aren't in the profession are under the same impression as I was. We all know that for each procedure of office call, a visit in the hospital or a surgical procedure or whatever, that the doctor bills the government for a certain amount. And that amount is basically set. I don't know what the charge is for an office call. And I think there's a problem with that. But whatever it is... A: And it all depends whether its the first call in six months, or the first call in a year, or a repeat call. Repeat calls every month, or six weeks, or two months is going to be less that one every six months. The profession has their groups, their committees that sit down and dicker to establish these amounts. The one thing is (and this is not for publication or repeat) the one thing that I've heard said of this business of cutting back by 5% is that the doctor will say: "Okay. I'm cutting down my total charge for whatever services I provide, but in order to keep my total income up to where it was before, I'll just have my patients come back and see me a little more of ten." Now, this is something which can be said. And I'm not convinced that it might not be true. But in very few cases. Very rare. Q: Well, I'm sure there will be a few cases like that. But I think the vast majority won't think that way. A: Yes. Physicians, by and large, are the same as the average persons in our society. They're concerned just as much as we all are that we have to do something in order to make ends meet. Q I think I agree with you. There may be a few out there who will feel that way, and who will do that. But. A: You see, you'll always find a "chiseler". Always. In any profession. Q And there's nothing that anyone can do about that. A: Is that on the tape? Q Yes, but don't worry about it. No one will read this but me. A: I know doctors who are "chiselers", you know. Q: (Laughs) I think there are a few in any profession. A: Yes. The economy of the situation can be resolved. And the medical profession, I'm sure, have arrived at that decision to cut back the 5% without too many difficulties at all. Q Yes. I'm puzzled by the very firm stance that the nurses are taking. They are simply refusing to entertain the notion at all at this time. Mind you, from their point of view, they have a contract. A: I don't know the answer to that. I think that there are militants in every walk of life, every profession. Q Its interesting though, what's happening in Alberta, when we read about the move toward medicare in the U.S., I think to myself—well, I think that our health care is infinitely superior to theirs. A: No question. Q: I mean yes, they've got the Mayo Clinic, and the DeBakeys and all the rest of it, but on the other hand, everybody in Canada gets high quality medical care. A: No question. Q: But, I'm confident that they've looked long and hard at the Canadian system in trying to develop one for themselves, and its interesting--! don't think the Canadian system has gone very wrong at all. A: I think we've got the very best, the very best—at this time—in the world. Q Better than the British system... A: Yes. You've got portability, you've got choice of doctors, you've basically got everything. We're well provided for, I think, and I would hat to see it changed. Q: How do you feel about the private clinics in Calgary? The eye.. A: Yes, the ophthalmology clinic. Q Yes. A: Of course, its been in existence for quite a long time. Q Yes. A: The appeal of that particular operation, or that particular delivery of care, is the advantage to people who can afford it. As I understand it. Rather than waiting your turn to go into General Hospital and having a local ophthalmologist do your cataract, you can go in and get it done right away. But you pay for it. Q. Yes, that's my understanding too. A: But, its two tier medicine. But if that's what society wants, well I don't care. Let them pay for it. But if you want your cataract done in Lethbridge, it can be done, but the waiting period is not generally dangerous, the wait is not dangerous, unless there are complications developing. Q But I think here in Lethbridge if there were complications developing, arrangements would be made to get you in sooner. A: Exactly. But it is two tier medicine, no question about it. And I think if a fellow wants to pay $ 1000 or $2000 to have his eyes operated on, then he can do it, providing I don't have to wait to the point where I'm risking a complication. Q: Well, I don't have any problems with situations like—you know Duncan Brown? A: Sure. Q: He had his own little clinic here where he did cosmetic surgery—and billed a facility fee. I don't have a problem with that. But I'm a little uncomfortable when a procedure is medically necessary. I think we should be able to get that procedure performed in order of need, rather than in order of bank account A: Well, if a fellow has worked hard, diligently, and at age 65 or 70 he develops a cataract, why shouldn't he be able to spend his money the way he wants? He's saved it, he's worked for it. Q. Um hum... A: He's not taking anything away from the other patients. I think that we are beginning to look at the dollar sign a little closer, and not be quite as free and open with our tax dollars. Q: I think so, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. I think the public has a right to demand that their tax dollar be spent wisely, and I think that there is a perception that the government hasn't always spent the health care tax dollar wisely. A: I think that's probably true. Take hospitals for instance since we're on the subject. Q Yes. A: Why did we really have to build new hospitals in Milk River and Cardston and Magrath, Fort MacLeod, Coaldale, Pincher Creek, and so on. Why did we have to do that? Was it a matter of convenience to the local people? There probably was a factor of politics. The people want a hospital in this community so they got one. I'm not blaming anyone. I'm not saying they shouldn't have done it. Q: No, but I think we realize that that wasn't the most efficient way to use the health care dollars. A: I think that's true. Q: Even right here in Lethbridge, with the Municipal or Regional Hospital. They could have been I think more "cooperative" for lack of a better word in deciding which hospitals would be more effective in doing certain procedures. I didn't Slink we had to have two general hospitals within two or three blocks of each other. Yet, I didn't raise any particular complaints about them carrying on the way they did. Yet, as I say, the economics of the hospitals, it seems to me that we could have been more efficient. But I've told you before, that from the time this hospital was vacated, we never had enough beds for the long term ill. Never. And as result, we've had the plugging of the acute beds as a result of people who are long term ill taking up these beds. So its been just a terrible backing up of facilities. Q: Yes. Certainly it didn't make sense for Lethbridge Regional Hospital to have operating rooms unused, while St. Michael's was still operating. A: I guess so. But the maternity concept, the surgical concept, abdominal surgery, specialized surgery, orthopedics. But you come to the point where you have to make changes. But you know, I think we are over governed. You have so many levels of government. You have the local government, the provincial government, the federal government We are governed to death, actually. But that's the way we want it. Q: But you know, I think the thoughtful, reflective opinions of people like yourself are so valuable. You are able to see things with a perspective. Not just the view of "the 90fs"or the "80's" but who able to see the cycles. Those opinions are valuable to the people who are making the decisions. A: Yes. Q. What do you think of the events of the past six months? Do you think that its just fat being trimmed, or have some of the cuts gone into the flesh? A: I think perhaps this is true. The tendency is to overdo, one way or the other. But the way we have gone—I'm still philosophizing... Q That's fine...so am I. A: The way we have gone, all of my life-take for instance my wife. As the past president of the Victorian Order of Nurses in Lethbridge, Alberta and Canada. The Victorian Order of Nurses was conceived, and conducted its business on a voluntary basis. And it was basically a home nursing program. And they came in with Home Care in Lethbridge. Q. Uh hum... A: And across Canada, what, about 20 years ago? The provincial government has a health unit, and they conceived that home care was a program that should come under the government. What do they do? In Lethbridge they buy the old CPR station, they rebuild, they add to the amount of space, they take over a ski house that's just a block away from where the station is. They buy it, and get it all fixed up, only for home care! But they've still got this great big station. And of course, the number of people hire is significant. Here we had a voluntary organization that's been doing this! And all of a sudden, the voluntary organization is out of business! Q Well yes. They couldn't compete with the government No voluntary organization has those kind of resources. A: That's true! So what's happened? Q: So the voluntary organization that was doing the job, and spending money very efficiently, is out of business. A: That's right. They got their financing from the Community Chest. Q: I know. A: So, its just...our society has done it. Our city council, our representative on the health group. And they decide they're going to take over home care, and they just doit And how many health units are there in the province? twelve? Fifteen? Q. I don't know. A lot. A: And every six months or so they have a meeting in Edmonton. They all come together. Do you know how much it costs for that? Q: A horrendous amount of money. A: The question is...I guess its just been a matter of government growing and growing and growing, and I've complained in public about being over governed, and we are over governed. We're told by everyone who is in a public position what we should do, and when—we're directed as to when we should get our flu shots and so on...In Lethbridge we're governed by city council, the provincial government, the house of commons, the senate in Ottawa—that's four levels of government. How can we pay for it all? I'm not complaining about the way I'm governed, but I'm complaining about too much government! Q: I think most people would agree with you. A: Absolutely. I think so too. Q For example, I'm not sure that the senate, at present plays any useful role. A: It doesn't! Not at all! Its a repository for old hacks! Q And what sort of purpose does the Governor General and the Lieutenant Governors serve. What do we need them for? Its just pomp and circumstance and vast amounts of money being spent. A: That's right, (laughs) Q I think we've touched all the bases, but there's one thing I'd like to ask you. what makes you angry? What upsets you—makes you grit your teeth? A: You mean in my work, my profession? Q: In you life, your society, in what you see... I'm thinking that a hundred years from now, or even two hundred, a historian opens up these boxes and ...think about that...if you had a find like that from the 1700's. That's a question I think the historian would want answered. A: Good question. Q: I try to keep that historian of the future in my mind as we do this. A: What things did I not like. Q What made you angry? A: I guess the very subject we've been discussing. Government, in some respects has been a source of annoyance. I'm not sure that its made me angry, because I'm not sure that I know what's better. We all know that the so called democratic mode of government is very inefficient and costly, but its the best we've been able to evolve, so I'm not sure I want to replace it with a new thing. My profession...made me angry? Q This conversation won't be published, and I'll give you final cut on the paper I do. A: I think I want to think about this question. I'll write it down to be sure. Q: Okay. A: What makes me angry. Q: Maybe you could ask Islay. She probably knows what has made you angry. A: That's one reason why I'm writing it down. I want to go home and speak to her about it. She might be more objective about it. Yes, I'm inclined to think that things that made me angry 10,15,20 and certainly 30 or 40 years ago don't make me angry anymore, this is the advantage of the aging process, I guess, (laughs) Q: Oh, I'm sure. A: Its interesting. Its a good question. You know? Q Sure. A: I've done some things that I shouldn't have done. And there are things I should have done that I didn't do. Q. I think that holds true for everybody. A: And yet, in the Good Book, in Phillipians, in the fourth chapter, it says something that ...."forget what has happened in the past, and anticipate the future". Q: Yes. A: I've found that to be a very good piece of Scripture. Its difficult to do, of course. Q And yet, you and I know, because we both have an interest in history, that we don't want the past forgotten. A: (Laughs) This is true. But we can get sort of snowed under thinking about why didn't we do this or that or not done it. You know, these are the things that chew away at a man's soul. Q That's actually another thing I wanted to talk to you about. I know that you've been a churchgoer all your life—a committed Christian all your life, and I'd like to know how you feel that commitment has impacted on your profession and on your life. I know that its been an important part of your life, and it should be included here. So if next time we'll talk a bit about that, (and of course about what makes you angry). A: Yes. Q Since next time will be our last session, talk with Islay, and think about anything you would like to have on this tape, that we haven't covered. Keep that yet to be born historian in mind, and think about what he or she would like to know. That's a pretty tall order, I know, but I want both of us to feel comfortable that this tape is as complete as possible. A: Okay. I'll work on that. You know, Its just flashed through my mind that I've been living in a period where we got antibiotics, cortisone, drugs, which have been a flood on the market for everything you could think of...you know, heart drugs, lung drugs. Tuberculosis...we used to put them to be in the sunshine and that was it! Now they've got everything! Q Yes, the scourges of mankind for five thousand years have been tamed, to a large extent, during the period of your practice. A: Yes. Q: And yet you've been here during the first appearance of AIDS
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Public Access
Accession No.
19931081174
Collection
Archive
Less detail

Oral History Interview - Dr. Hugh Arnold (interview 8)

https://collections.galtmuseum.com/en/permalink/descriptions82114
Date Range
1994
Description Level
Fonds
Material Type
Recording
Accession No.
19931081175
Physical Description
1 audio cassette (digital file)
Scope and Content
The following transcript was prepared by Donna Kampen. Q Dr. Arnold, you were going to look over the transcripts of our previous interviews and make any corrections. A: I think I've made the corrections on this one. At least, I've added a bit here. I think you got this from me before…
Material Type
Recording
Date Range
1994
Fonds
Dr. Hugh Arnold fonds
Description Level
Fonds
Physical Description
1 audio cassette (digital file)
Physical Condition
Excellent
History / Biographical
Dr. Arnold donated his papers to the Galt Museum and Archives in September 1993, with the provision that they be available for an independent study project done by University of Lethbridge student Donna Kampen, under the supervision of Professor Bill Baker of the Department of History. Donna Kampen organized Dr. Arnold's papers conducted a series of oral history interviews (8 audio cassettes) with Dr. Arnold.
Scope and Content
The following transcript was prepared by Donna Kampen. Q Dr. Arnold, you were going to look over the transcripts of our previous interviews and make any corrections. A: I think I've made the corrections on this one. At least, I've added a bit here. I think you got this from me before. Q Yes. A: Anyways, this is where I've made corrections. Q Yes, filled in dates and things... A: Some. Some I haven't been able to get information on. But I've added some things here—a little more information about my half brothers. I think I've got about as much as I want there. Q: You may have come across names that if you haven't spelled them out for me, I've just given them my best guess. See that name there...the tape may have been muffled there. A: Yes, well that may have been me, too. I may just not have recalled it. Now, before I go any further, when my father died in Victoria a few years ago, one of my brothers in Victoria came along one day when we were out to visit them and he said: "You better take this little booklet. It may come in handy sometime." And I've just looked at it in the last few days—just since I last saw you. And its difficult to make out, to make it quite clear in some places, but this is the diary of my father before he went to war, and during the war, and after the war. Q: Oh really? A: Yes. Its written all in his own hand. Isn't it great. Q: Oh yes. Its precious. A: Here he is, you see, in England, (reads) "December 31, 1915: Kings Cross Station London. 9:50. For Edinburgh, Scotland. Newcastle. 3:30. Crossing the Tyne river. Pleasant trip so far. Next stop Edinburgh. Q Oh, that's interesting. A: Yes. Anyway, what it has done, is given me some exact dates with regard to when he went overseas, when he joined the army in Canada before going overseas, and this is 1914. Q: Oh, I know. 80 years ago. A: And then coming back, when my brother and my mother and I left Vancouver to meet him in Calgary—took the train to Calgary. Here it is here. My mother's death--the date my mother died, he entered it into the book, her burial. She was buried in Vancouver. Well—details of that kind, you know. See here's a notation: "Received letter February 16, 1919, stating my younger boy had started school, and the oldest boy (that's me) passed the senior second reader, first in the class of 20. Only 8 years old." Q This would be when he was in Calgary right after the war. A: This would be a letter from my mother to him. I think he would have been back in this country by now. In Ontario, probably. See: "Went to Cookstown, Stayed until Wednesday. Returned to Toronto. Left 7:00 PM for home—Vancouver, B. C. Then: 14 May 1919, left for Victoria 9:30 A.M., returning to Vancouver that night. Proceeding to Hastings Park for discharge. Expect my discharge Monday, May 15, 1919." Q: Yes, it took a while after the armistice before they were discharged. That's about six months. Yes. That's fascinating. A: It is indeed. Q It takes some work to...you should get it transcribed. It would make it easier to read as time goes by. A: Yes. Its readable now, but its getting quite difficult in some places. See here-some of his experiences overseas. Q He had wonderful handwriting. A: Yes. He had a lovely hand, a great hand. Anyway, this is it. I think I've gotten most of the dates we were looking for out of this book. See here—this is after the war. I think he was looking for work here. Q Yes, well there were an enormous number of men being released into the workforce as they were discharged. A: See here...he had gone to Regina, "returning Sept. 9, 1920". Then September 30, 1920 he was gone to Champion, I think he was working with farm equipment. See here: "Nobleford, Vulcan...Took train to High River, returning same day. Drumheller, Rosebud. Returned to Calgary that night Then "Rosebud, and Rosebud" again. This is interesting because of the fact that Rosebud has become an interesting place. The theatre, you know. Q Oh yes. A: These are trips that he made mostly in Alberta-and the prairies. He's handling some type of farm equipment. These are "Received from....$100." etc. etc. Q: He's keeping track of what he's doing—receipts and expenditures. A: Yes. This was his bookkeeping. Let's see: "Received from Mother, Gold Piece. Christmas gift." Q Would that be his mother? A: No, my mother. "Sunday, December 6, 1925. Joined the first Baptist Church, Calgary. Mother..." (he called my mother, 'Mother'). Q Yes. A- "...Hugh, William and Dad. Transferring our letters from Westbourne Baptist Church in Calgary."..." "April 6,1928. The wife took a stroke at 5:00 p.m. One side paralyzed. Her sister Jen arriving at 1:30 same afternoon from Vancouver. My wife died at April 30,1928. Body taken to Vancouver for burial in the family plot." "Received offer from the Canadian Bakeries Limited to take charge of the Edmonton branch. Left Calgary March 28,1929. Arrived Edmonton 6:00 p.m." That's when he went to Edmonton. So that's interesting. Q Oh, is it ever. A: So I've got some of these dates corrected. There are one or two things that I haven't been able to get, only because I haven't been able to get to the people I wanted to ask. You raised the question in one of our sessions of, during the war, was there rationing of gasoline and so on. And I believe there was. The people from whom I think I can get more definitive answers from, I haven't been able to get. They're just not available. But that's information that I will get. Did I get those new dates on that transcript. Q Yes, here they are. That pretty well tidies it up, I think. A: Now this is another hobby of mine...family trees. See here's our family tree here...you can tell me if there's anything that would be of interest. Q: Well, I think your family tree would definitely be nice to have in the papers. A: This is a list of the class I graduated with in 1938. Q I think this is in the papers already—from when you had your 25th class reunion. A: That could well have been. Well, I've just brought these out in case you didn't have them. Q I'm sure this was in the papers. A: This is just a little talk I gave after one of our Doctors died. Dr. Penner. Q: I remember him. A: Don't feel obliged to take any of this stuff, if you don't think it will be useful. Q: I don't think I'll worry about this, but the family tree would be nice to have. A: This is a book that I helped compile. Have you got a copy of this? Q Yes, I have. You know, there's really not much in your papers about your retirement from practice. A: I see. These were written by the Herald at the time I retired. And this was from Sister Lucille. A great friend of mine. She gave me that, years ago. This is another book of philosophy that was given to me by...somebody. Q: I think you'll want to keep these. These are keepsakes. A: Yeah, these are personal. Yeah. This is a copy of my birth certificate. You know, something I haven't mentioned to you. The Sea Cadets had a 50th year reunion. It would be two years ago in June. Q: Oh yes. I think the official program of that event is in the papers. There were some things about that reunion, but not a lot of detail. A: I was on the committee that organized it, and this is some detail here, correspondence, minutes of meetings of the organizing committee. That sort of thing. Q: If this isn't something you want to keep for yourself, this would be good to have in the papers. This would round off the Sea Cadet material nicely. A: Oh, well we had a lot of meetings. Meetings and meetings and meetings. Q Well, as I say, this would round off the Sea Cadet Material nicely. A: Now this had to do with my retirement. Or I think my 80th birthday. Our grandson composed this poem. Q And its pretty good, too. A: Yes, Yes it is. I have a cousin who lives in Ontario. He's a bit of an artist. He's actually an architect, but he came out for that party for my 80th birthday. He sat in the house and drew pictures. That's Bill. These are precious. You'll want to keep them. A: Yes. Now this is just some notes I made about the clinic. We put out a little history of the clinic. Q Yes. That's in the papers. A: Now, If you want any of this, you can take a copy. Q Okay, I will. A: Now this is just some notes I made, some information I got on retirement. Q: Were you thinking of writing a paper? A: I gave a talk once on aging. I was interested in geriatrics, and this of course relates to that. This is kind of fun. Q: (Reads and laughs) Now, this looks like two drafts of the same talk. A: Yes, yes it is. Q Now it all depends on if you think you'll ever want to refer to this again. A: No, that's unlikely. Q There's some other stuff on aging in the papers. And this gives your thoughts on it. I think its appropriate that it go in with the rest of the papers. The only thing is, once the archives has them, they have them. You could always go in and look through them, but I don't think you could remove anything. A: But I could use them Q Oh yes. A: Now, what have we got here? Letters. Every organization has a man who is a kind of a contact. We have a fellow in Calgary by the name of Bradley. He's the fellow who sets things up for our meetings and reunions and things. This is a chap, I think I may have told you before, this is an article on Ayre... Q Oh yes. He's the one who popularized the PAP smear. I'd like a copy of this. A: Sure. Now I was at one time the President of the University of Alberta Medical Alumni Association. The executive director was a chap by the name of Alex Markle. This is a little story about Markle. Q I think they'd only be interested in Markle as he relates to you. A: I told you I wrote a summary about the Sea Cadets. These are some of my notes about it for when I went on TV. This is just a framework, a chronology. Q Well, like I said before, If you don't think you're going to need to refer to it again, it would fit in nicely with the papers. A: Well, I think that's about it. Q We were going to talk briefly about the Canadian Society of Internal Medicine. A: I became interested in the Canadian Society of Internal Medicine when I was the President of the Alberta Society of Specialists in Internal Medicine. At about that time, Dr. Brock Fernie, who I had met while on a refresher course at the University of Toronto Medical School after the war. He was practicing in Vancouver. He was the President of the British Columbia Society of Internal Medicine at about the same time that I was the President of the Alberta Society. He spearheaded the formation of a Canadian Society of Internal Medicine. He called a meeting together in Edmonton of internists who were present at the annual meeting of the Canadian Medical Association. So there were Doctors there from all over Canada. He was elected the President, and I was the secretary for the first year. At a subsequent C.M.A. meeting in Banff, we met again. It was hard to get it together, you know, but it eventually got going and became a very vital, active organization. I wanted to have that on the record. (Mrs. Arnold joins us) Q Mrs. Arnold, I thought it might be interesting to talk with you as we round off these interviews. Just to get your perspective on things. A: Well, sure. Q: A number of times during our talks, Dr. Arnold has remarked upon the fact that you took an enormous amount of responsibility for the home and family, particularly while the children were young and he was establishing his practice. A: Oh, I suppose so, but I never really thought about it like that. He was always here, you know. Q: You worked as well, did you not. A: Well, after my father died, my mother came to stay with us, and I had an opportunity to go back into teaching. I had always liked teaching, and I thought it was something I would like to do, so with my mother here to help out with the children I decided to give it a try. Q: Well, if you get along well with your mother, that's an ideal way to do it. A: Oh yes. And that was just fine. So I started to teach part time. I don't know if it was one year—yes I think it was probably just the one year, and then they asked me: "Well, could you go full time?" It had worked out well, so I did Our son, Hugh, was the youngest. Mother was a great one—she was an active person, and she would take him to the rink to skate and do all sorts of things with him. And had a good time with him, and he enjoyed her. The girls got along fine, too. So that was how we worked into it. I had never had any thought of going back to work. It had never occurred to me, because, as I say, the children were still at home, and our son was only in grade four. He was still quite young. No, it had never occurred to me, and I'm not sure that it ever would have. If those circumstances with my mother coming to us— who knows? How can you tell? By the time he had gone on a little further in school, I might have been looking for something. But the thing is, I hadn't thought of anything. I taught not a full ten years, less than ten years, but things were changing. I had a sense that either I wanted to--I felt I had to update myself. I felt that I wasn't —I was beginning to teach more classes with the Junior High, and the whole teaching situation was beginning to change. As I say, I felt I was needing something... Q Well, the changes in Math really moved in those years. A: Well, that wasn't the problem, no that wasn't the problem at all. I enjoyed that It was the atmosphere within the school, and the...Oh, there wasn't the same respect for teachers. All of the years that I had taught, and that included the first years that I taught, discipline was no problem. There was just a good feeling. You felt that your students appreciated you and respected you, and you enjoyed them. It was great. It was just beginning to change... Q In the Sixties. A: Yes, this was changing. And I felt that I just wasn't prepared to cope with it. That's just what it amounted to. I knew that I would have to get myself geared up and into the mode of operating, and be happy and satisfied with it, or I wasn't prepared to do it and be disgruntled. Q: Yes, if you can't get up and look forward to your work at least three days out of five... A: At that time, I resigned. Right at the same time Hugh had his serious condition of Rheumatoid Arthritis, and it was good that I was home. So that was a satisfactory arrangement. Having done that—and during the time that I was teaching I didn't feel that I had time or the opportunity to make a contribution to the community and when I was finished teaching I felt that I was ready for that. That's when I was asked to go onto the board of the VON and the Senate of the University. Out of those things came a lot of volunteer work. It just seems to all come. I was available, and the word gets around. So that was how it all got started. And I've never regretted going back to work. No, oh no. I don't know how it would have worked out or exactly how I would have managed...mind you, you see, by the time I was really involved significantly at work, when I became the Chancellor of the University and went on to become the President of the VON in Canada...if I hadn't sort of gotten out into the community when I did, I don't know if those things could have ever happened, because without mother being there., .it was just a certain set of circumstances that happened. Q Probably you're right. If you hadn't already been "out there", I doubt if at 64 you would have even tried, or thought that you could do it. A: Well, at 641 still didn't think I could. And if it hadn't been for Hugh I never would have! I gather he's told you some of what I did. I could never have done it without his support and his encouragement. Because, well, you hadn't done them. You had to build up your confidence. I didn't have enough of that, and I needed a lot of support in many ways. Certainly, I would never have done many of the things I did without that. I don't think so. It would have meant a whole other way, and don't think things would have happened this way. Q Oh, I agree. But the support was mutual. A: Oh, I've made some little comments. I pointed put that being a supportive wife...certainly I think that medical doctors in those days needed that, and probably do yet. Maybe not quite so much. But in those days, when you were answering the telephone, and taking care of your children, and taking messages, and doing all these things, there was never a break, because they didn't take time off. They were always on call, and that was the feeling you had. Long hours, Saturdays and Sundays and everything. And the home phone number was as available as the office. Q (Laughs) You were probably asked for medical advice more than once. A: Oh yes. As the Doctor's wife you were expected to know. "You ought to know what I should take!" (Laughs) Q I can imagine that. One thing that I've asked Dr. Arnold without too much success because he says he doesn't get angry anymore. But you might have a better perspective. What made him angry? A: Well, I don't honestly recall Hugh being angry. Q. Well then "frustrated"? A: I could say frustrated. I could say that I've known him to disapprove. You could tell when he was frustrated. But angry... Q Maybe "angry" is too strong. A: Well, frustrated, certainly. He .... Q. I know, this is a really tough question. I thought about it, thought, well, you know, if someone asked me: "What makes your husband angry?", I would have to answer something like: "Well, when something happens to the car right before a long weekend, that makes him angry", but I would have a hard time thinking of anything other than those types of things. I think I know what you're feeling, because I would have a hard time answering that question myself. A: Yes. Well, isn't that ridiculous. Because I certainly can tell when he is frustrated. But what is it that does it....it doesn't happen. Q Well, I think that I can believe that. A: He's very even tempered. He's very tolerant. He's not concerned about what other people do, in terms of being critical or upset with them. He's sensitive. Q I think you're right in terms of him being even tempered. A: As I say, he's sensitive to how other people are feeling and so on, but he's very tolerant. Q Yeah, I think so. Have you read all this? (The transcriptions) A: Well, I read just a few pages today, where what I referred to just a few minutes ago. Yeah. Q: Well, I'm going to make a few corrections, and a copy will go in the archives, but I'll get a copy back to you. Feel free to read it. I quite like it, as it goes along. It started out in quite an interrogative mood, you know with questions and answers. But as we moved along the last six months, we gradually got into "conversations." I think that we both enjoyed it. A: Oh yes. Q I'm going to do a paper, a biographical paper. I've talked a little bit about the focus. I think that I want to concentrate on the fact that his practice has spanned such an era of change in medicine. A: Yes. Q You know, he began practice just before antibiotics and things like cortisone. And antibiotics changed the whole pattern of practice of medicine. And then moved into things that were unheard of, even when he was in medical school, the idea of heart transplants and kidney transplants...things that even 20 years ago were experiments and are now commonplace... A: Exactly. Q: I think that because his career in medicine spans that time so nicely...while he was in medical school there were no antibiotics, and just when he began his practice....so I think I'm going to focus on something like "the changes" and how they impacted on a doctor practicing in a small city on the Canadian prairies. A: Yes. Q: That's how I'm looking at it right now. Sometimes when you start these things... A: They get away on you don't they? (laughs) Q Yes...all of a sudden you're down a completely unfamiliar path, (laughs) A: But if it seems to work well... Q: Yes. I'm never prepared to commit myself too fully until I've got a draft more or less completed. I think I'm going to want to finish this off (transcriptions) and then I will start sort of drafting out the paper, but I'm going to want to get back and have him sort of look things over. A: That sounds like it would be very appropriate for his practice. Q You know, I think that his papers and these interviews are going to be fascinating to some yet to be born historian, just because they cover that time period. A: Yes. Q: One thing that we haven't covered in these interview is how he feels his church, his religion has had an effect on his life and his practice of medicine. We haven't really touched on that at all, and yet I know that he's been a churchgoer all his life. A: Well that's something that he could give you better than I can, but certainly his family background...and as you say, its been an important part of his life. But its been to my knowledge...its probably been the basis of his life. On which he has... Q: Yes. That's been the impression that I've gotten over the past few months. A: His whole philosophy of life has been based on the Christian religion, and he's been a Christian person all his life. At least that's how I see it. Its certainly influenced him. And when you say the qualities he has, of being caring and concerned, gentle, tolerant—all of these characteristics which he has, all of these come to him from that background and his Christian religion. I think so. Q. Yes. A: Sometimes more than others he's been involved—participating—but he's always been a member of the Baptist church here, to the point of being moderator for a while, and on committees and so on and so forth. I really think that his Christian beliefs have permeated his whole life. His family life, and certainly his practice of medicine. . Q: I think you're right. And I just didn't think that it was appropriate that we end this autobiographical 90 or so pages here (refers to transcripts) without ever bringing that up. Because, you know, we hadn't. Since the very, very beginning when we had talked about him becoming a member of the Baptist church in Calgary, we hadn't talked about it. And I didn't feel...I was a little uncomfortable about that. A: Yes. Q: Now he may not want to add anything further, but... A: Yes, as I say, to put a personal note on it. But my perception...that's the way I feel about it. His Christian beliefs... Q When you look back on it, is there anything big that you would have done differently? Do you think that living in Lethbridge was...are you happy that you did that? Have you ever thought: "What would have happened if we had stayed in Montreal, or moved to the U.S., or..." A: (laughs) I never had time to think about that, to tell you the truth. A flash goes through that there was one point in time where he had the opportunity to go to California. I suppose he's mentioned that. Q: No, I don't think he has. A: Well, he was asked to join a clinic in California. That was following the time when he had been taking post graduate work in Harvard. He met a person who became a friend at that time (and is still a friend. We visited with him when we were in California last winter.) Is that the one whose sons are physicians? A: Yes. In the meantime, shortly after he'd been in Boston they invited him to join their clinic in California. We were in the habit of going to California for our vacation, and so we went along with him, and he gave it some consj deration-quite serious consideration—and its sort of a standard joke in the family. This is digressing. Our girls, our whole family, because we visited California so frequently and they had relatives there, and had such good times, they have a very very warm spot in their hearts for California. Our oldest daughter always teases her dad and says she's never yet forgiven him for not taking us to California when he had the opportunity. Its not really quite true but... Q What do you think was the deciding factor in the decision to stay in Lethbridge? A: You'd have to ask him that. Q Okay. A: I don't think that we really wanted to be Americans. Q I think I can understand that. A: If you ask me how I felt about it, really, there wasn't anything that I could see about that particular location that appealed to me so much that I wanted to leave Canada and become an American. I guess that's about where I was. And as long as Hugh wasn't saying that he was wanting to go and was prepared to go, and were we prepared to go, I was satisfied that he made the decision not to go. The other situations...at the time of his retirement... I thought that Hugh was well qualified to do teaching...at the University and so on. I had mentioned that to him many years ago, but that wasn't something that appealed to him. He preferred to (and this is my understanding anyway—these things all happened a long time ago—) he was satisfied with what he was doing. Q I think he would have been a good teacher. A: He would have been an excellent teacher. He is a good teacher. He would have been and excellent person..he's very good with young people and with the students and so on. An excellent teacher. Q: Yes. Very patient. Always willing to explain. A: Yes. Anxious to explain and teach. So that he would have done well. But ....I guess, I was thinking today, that going back as far as we go back, there wasn't so much thinking... In my own case, I went to teaching because it was available. My parents were able to set it up for me. I didn't think about what I needed to do. Well, I knew what I wanted to do...I wanted to be a nurse. But because I was an only child, my parents-my mother had had a sister who had been a nurse, and they had the impression, and rightly so, that nursing was a pretty... Q: They worked very hard. A: Yes. Very hard. Scrubbing floors and doing everything in those days. Q: Yes. A: I think, well, I know, that they thought that there must be some easier way for me to go rather than go into that profession, so they encouraged me to try teaching so I did. But I was never...I always had it in mind that I would like to try nursing. Well, then I did. I was much more comfortable with nursing. Seeing myself perhaps having a career in nursing, but not in teaching. Mind you, I enjoyed the teaching, too, and when I went back to it was a pleasant experience. Q: Yes. I took education, but I decided not to teach. I thought my heart would break. A: We have a daughter (of course Hugh has probably mentioned this) who is teaching grade one. I think that the only ways you can look at it is that you do what you can, and take satisfaction in what you are able to do, while recognizing that you can't do it all. You can't take it all home with you, Q: Yes. I think its much more difficult to be a teacher now than what it was 20 or 30 years ago. A friend of mine who teaches says its not unusual for her to have 3 or 4 seriously emotionally disturbed children in her class. It makes it very difficult. A: Oh yes. Judy's at Galbraith, and she runs into similar experiences. In fact, this year it was so serious, she had so many behavioral problems, it was approaching half the class. So she presented her problems, and she was granted an aide because it was just impossible. Q Oh, I know. A: She said that you know, you spend all your time taking care of these problems, and the poor children aren't learning anything. So the aide has been a great help to her, and she's now feeling that it has been a worthwhile year, but before Christmas she was really, you know, upset. Q Oh, I believe it. A: The biggest problem was not being able to teach. Q Yes. It's very difficult. HA: How're you doing? Q Very well, thank you. Dr. Arnold, I asked Mrs. Arnold how she felt that your commitment to Christianity has influenced your life, and I think what she said has basically covered it, but is there anything you'd like to add? She said that basically she considers that your Christianity has permeated your whole life, your profession, your home life... LA: My impression is that your commitment to Christianity has been the basic philosophy of your life, and that you have... HA: I think that's a fair statement. IA: And that you've conducted your family life and your professional life and so on... You're not a saint! But pretty close. (All laugh.) HA: You've made my day! IA: It would be my observation that that's your standard. HA: I think that's true. I think that the tenants of Christianity are pretty good rules to live by. If you try and live by those tenants, you can go to bed with a pretty clear conscience. And if you deviate, get it straight, get it straight with somebody. You know, the world is a wonderful place to live the way it is. The way we live, and where we live, we're awful fortunate, awful fortunate people. Being mixed up with the health profession, I can recall going through the uncertain days of "where are we going to wind up?" when Tommy Douglas was at his...I think what Tommy Douglas did was good for everybody. And the philosophy of the Health Care System the way we have evolved it had been very good for everybody. I think so, anyway. Q Yes. HA: I attribute it to Tommy Douglas. Yes. Q We've agreed before. Our system is infinitely superior to any other system. HA: I don't care about or for Tommy Douglas's political philosophy. Not by any means. LA: But we needed him. We need his kind. HA: Yes. We need people who will go out in the field and beat the bushes and wake people up. IA: I think its so unfortunate that our federal government is the way it is now, because I think that the New Democrats, or what used to be the N.D.P.'s was an important conscience. Those people were spokesman to stimulate thinking and present a point of view. To keep us... Q: On that middle road? IA: Yes. They were that force that pulled to the left as opposed to that force that pulled to the right. I think they made a valuable contribution, and I hope that they will be able to continue to do so, somehow. Whether building up their party, or... Q Yes. I've always admired Audrey McLaughlin's philosophy of: "No work worth doing is below me." I A: Yes. I've always felt that I never wanted to ask anyone to do anything that I wouldn't do. That's where I came to the conclusion-or its helped me come to the conclusion—that I couldn't support capital punishment. I couldn't ask someone to kill somebody when I wouldn't be willing to do that job. I think we have to hear what these people have to say, and weigh it all. Mind you, I can't support euthanasia. But I'm of the opinion that down the road, its going to be inevitable. Q I hope not. Q Well Dr. Arnold, I think we've touched pretty well all the bases. What do you think. HA: I think so. After talking to you tonight about the serials that I've had stored for ten years or more, I'm glad to have those other things turned over to you. Q Yes, I think they'll fit very nicely in with the rest of the papers. Its appropriate that they be there. Ill be back in touch with you as I write the paper. There may be some points that I'll want clarification on, and so on. A: Have you got everything now? Q I think so. A: Its been kind of fun to sort of "scratch my brains'1. Its been kind of fun. Q Yes, I've thoroughly enjoyed it. I think we've put together a pretty interesting package. LA: You know, you mentioned about the difference in the forties as compared to how men participate now, I better make sure that you know that during those years when I was being so involved with volunteer work and so on, and I was aways from home quite a bit. During the time that I was Canadian President of the V.O.N. we were having problems with getting an executive officer for the organization, so I was sort of filling the two positions of President of the Board and Executive Officer of the organizations, so I was forced to go to Ottawa a lot So Hugh did take over. They ate a lot of cheese sandwiches. HA: (laughs) They were good, too. IA: He doesn't go out to eat. That was the problem. When I first started I'd leave things in the fridge for him, and when I came home they'd still be there. HA: Did you tell Donna about yourself? LA: Well, not really. You did that. HA: The Order of Canada, Officer? Q No, you didn't tell me about that. HA: Being the Queen's guest at her garden party? IA: I told Donna about your encouragement and about how important that was for me in order to try and do those things that I did. I guess it is also true that you not only supported me with encouragement, but that also, when you're doing volunteer work, your expenses are paid, but its never quite all it comes out to be, so that was no problem with you at all. When I was the Vice President, the Queen Mother had her 80th birthday. Because she was the patron of the V.O.N., the organization in Canada received three invitations. I was one of those...the executive officer at the time, the president and the vice president got the invitations, which included our husbands. Of course, it was an invitation, there was no funding to go. So Hugh provided the funding and we went to the Queen Mother's 80th birthday party. Q Isn't that wonderful. HA: We had a nice little chat with her. She was the honorary chancellor of the college that our son Hugh attended at Oxford. She was doing her "walkabout" and when she stopped and chatted with us we told her about Hugh. "How delightful!" she said. IA: "So nice of you to come!" were her last words. HA: That's right. A delightful person. Q I think we'll turn this off now, unless either of you have anything to add. HA: No, I don't think so. Islay? IA: No, I think we're about done.
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19931081175
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Archive
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