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Bio

Reuben Peterson
The Michigan Alumnus 242-243

Reuben Peterson, A.B., M.D.

It was with mingled feelings of sorrow 
and regret that we heard the report that 
Dr. Martin, who for so many years had 
held the professorship of the diseases of 
women and children, had sent in his 
resignation. Ill health dating from an 
attack of blood poisoning which he con
tracted a few years ago, made such a 
step necessary. Thus the medical fac
ulty, the profession at large, and the 
student body, lost an able clinician, a
 successful operator, a kind and willing 
adviser, and an enthusiastic instructor. 


When the shock occasioned by Dr.
 Martin's resignation had passed, the Re
gents and the faculty of the Department 
of Medicine and Surgery sought to find
 a successor, one worthy of his predeces
sors in the work of gynecology and ob
stetrics. It was no easy task. After 
much deliberation and negotiation, last 
spring an invitation was sent to Dr.
 Reuben Peterson, assistant professor of 
gynecology and obstetrics in Rush Med
ical College. The invitation was accepted, and Dr. Peterson entered on his 
duties as Bates professor of the diseases 
of women and children, September 24, 
 1901.


Dr. Peterson was born in Boston, June
29, 1862. He attended the Boston public
 schools and the Boston Latin school 
from which latter institution he was
 graduated in 1881. Entering Harvard 
University the same fall, he graduated
 magna cum laude four years later. As he had decided upon medicine as his 
chosen profession, he became a matric
ulate of the Harvard Medical School, 
from which he received the degree of 
Doctor of Medicine in 1889. Dr. Peter
son had before graduation from the 
medical school acted as interne in two 
of the largest hospitals in Boston; and
 for a year after, or until the fall of 1890, 
he was one of the internes in another
 Boston hospital. An admirer of the
 writings and teachings of Horace Gree
ley, he resolved to follow this well-
known journalist's advice as to the
 proper place to display his shingle. Starting west in the fall of 1890, he lo
cated in Grand Rapids. During his so
journ there, Dr. Peterson was superin
tendent of Butterworth Hospital for one 
year, and served on its staff as gynecol
ogist until he removed to Chicago in
 1898. His last two years in Grand Rap
ids were devoted entirely to gynecology 
and obstetrics, and owing to his large
 consultation practice throughout west
ern Michigan on these subjects he was 
able to do extensive research work along
 this line. Dr. Peterson was elected a
 Fellow of the Chicago Gynecological Society in 1895, and of the American 
Gynecological Society in 1896. In 1897, 
while still a resident of Grand Rapids, 
he was appointed professor of gynecol
ogy in the Chicago Post-Graduate Medi
cal School.


During his residence in Chicago from
1898 until last fall, when he came to 
Ann Arbor to enter upon his new duties 
in the Bates professorship, he gave him
self wholly to gynecology and obstetrics. He carried on a large amount of 
research work, and his investigations 
along the line of anastomos is of the
ureters with the intestines awakened
 international discussion and interest. 
 In addition he has from time to time
 contributed numerous articles to the
 leading medical journals of the country. 
In 1900 Dr. Peterson was honored and 
complimented by being chosen president of the Chicago Gynecological So
ciety. The same year he was appointed
 assistant professor of gynecology and
 obstetrics at Rush Medical College, 
 which professorship he resigned last September when he came to Michigan. 


Dr. Peterson is a brilliant speaker, a 
painstaking instructor, an untiring
 worker, and a successful operator: a man
 who has such a superabundance of
 contagious enthusiasm that he infects all 
his co-workers and colleagues with the
 same malady. In conclusion it is safe
 to say that in Dr. Peterson we have a
 successor well worthy to continue the
 work so admirably planned and thought
 out by our much beloved and lamented
 Dr. Martin.

Wm. H. Morley, '95, '0lm