‘You Have to Give People the Chance’

Despite his visual impairment, Muhammad Ullah and his family didn’t even know he had a disability when they immigrated to the U.S. Once his condition was diagnosed, it enabled him to receive help on his way to becoming a medical student at Rush.

Ullah credits the Americans With Disabilities Act, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last July, with opening doors for him. “You have to give people the chance,” he says. “It might not work out, but they can come in and they can do their best and contribute. … That’s what the ADA does … it really gives people opportunities.”

From the Archives: James B. Herrick, MD


This photo from the Rush Archives shows a clinic in 1900 featuring James B. Herrick, MD, a Rush Medical College graduate and faculty member who discovered sickle cell anemia.

Ernest E. Irons (Rush class of 1903), the intern who first brought the abnormal cells to Herrick’s attention, later became dean of Rush Medical College.

M1: An Interview With Rush CEO Larry Goodman, MD

First-year Rush Medical College student Joe Santamaria met up recently with Rush University Medical Center CEO Larry Goodman, MD, for a conversation in the Brennan Entry Pavilion. In the interview, Goodman reflects on his time in medical school and the career path to hospital leadership.

“I never would have thought I would be doing anything other than practicing my entire career,” he says.

From the Archives: First Electrocardiograph, 1913


Chicago’s first electrocardiograph was installed 100 years ago at Presbyterian Hospital, which later became part of Rush University Medical Center.

Renowned heart specialist and Rush Medical College graduate James B. Herrick, MD, was instrumental in securing the equipment through a gift from Mrs. Cyrus McCormick, Sr., a noted Chicago philanthropist.

She also helped the hospital acquire an improved model in 1915 and provided substantial funding for research in heart disease.

According to the 1939 issue of the Presbyterian Hospital Bulletin, “It was with the aid of these instruments that Dr. Herrick made his first notable discoveries about coronary thrombosis and started on the trail which has brought fame to himself and immeasurable benefit to humanity.”

Electrocardiography measures the heart’s electrical activity and helps detect abnormalities.

Equipping Rush Students to Succeed

Robert Leven, PhD, is the 2012 recipient of Rush’s Henry P. Russe, MD, Humanitarian Award, which is given annually to a member of the Rush community who demonstrates an exceptional compassion and commitment to the well-being of others.

Inspired by an uncle who had developmental disabilities and severe asthma, Robert Leven has spent 15 years working on behalf of Rush students with disabilities.

“My uncle was born in 1920, and I’ve often thought about how his life might have been different if he had grown up in the world as it is today, how he might have been able to accomplish or experience what he never had a chance to do,” says Leven, assistant dean of basic science education for Rush Medical College, and associate professor of anatomy and cell biology.

Leven took a lead role in forming Rush University’s Disability Assessment
Team, which responds to student requests for accommodations for a disability.

“We’ve had students with a range of disabilities, including students who use wheelchairs, have a hearing impairment or visual disabilities. The most common disability is a learning disability,” Leven says. Continue reading

Music as Medicine

By Celine Thum

My first patient encounter was not in medical school. It was during college, when I was required to play violin at the geriatric psychiatry lounge as part of a course called “Music as Medicine.”

The audience was not my usual: patients half-asleep in chairs, nurses running between rooms, and rounding residents discussing treatment plans. Unsure of what to expect from my “music as medicine” session, I ignored the seemingly uninterested audience and began to play.

During my performance, I was interrupted by a patient. We briefly conversed about music, family and her past experiences. After the session, I was informed by the resident that the patient that I had interacted with had been belligerent, incomprehensible and hostile for weeks with no sign of improvement. The resident was astonished by the improvement of the patient’s dementia after my session. My experience was the first time the patient was socially acceptable since admittance. By listening to music, the patient could recall family members and distant events, and hold a conversation.

Continue reading

From the Archives: Daniel A. Jones Building, 1917

By Nathalie Wheaton

This postcard from 1917 shows Rush’s Daniel A. Jones Building in all its glory. Built in 1888 at the corner of Congress Parkway and Wood Street, the Jones Building held Presbyterian Hospital’s public patient wards at the time. Presbyterian Hospital is a predecessor hospital of today’s Rush University Medical Center.

This is a rare view as it shows a building across the street (far left side of postcard), where the Eisenhower Expressway and CTA’s Blue Line are today. The building on the far right side is the Rush Medical College Clinical Building, which was razed for the Rawson Laboratory Building. Rawson opened in 1924.

Nathalie Wheaton is an archivist with Rush University Medical Center. You can contact the Rush Archives at rush_archives@rush.edu or at (312) 942-7214.