In 1933, for the second time in the history of the Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled (R & C), a general surgeon, Eugene Hillhouse Pool, MD, was appointed Surgeon-in-Chief by the Board of Managers of the New York Society for the Relief of the Ruptured and Crippled. R & C (whose name was changed to the Hospital for Special Surgery in 1940), then the oldest orthopaedic hospital in the country, was losing ground as the leading orthopaedic center in the nation. The R & C Board charged Dr. Pool with the task of recruiting the nation’s best orthopaedic surgeon to become the next Surgeon-in-Chief. Phillip D. Wilson, MD, from the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the Harvard Medical School was selected and agreed to accept this challenge. He joined the staff of the Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled in the spring of 1934 as Director of Surgery and replaced Dr. Pool as Surgeon-in-Chief the next year. It was the time of the Great Depression, which added a heavy financial toll to the daily operations of the hospital. With a clear and courageous vision, Dr. Wilson reorganized the hospital, its staff responsibilities, professional education and care of patients. He established orthopaedic fellowships to support young orthopaedic surgeons interested in conducting research and assisted them with the initiation of their new practices. Recognizing that the treatment of crippling conditions and hernia were becoming separate specialties, one of his first decisions was to restructure the Hernia Department to become the General Surgery Department. His World War I experiences in Europe helped develop his expertise in the fields of fractures, war trauma and amputations, providing a broad foundation in musculoskeletal diseases that was to be beneficial to him in his future role as the leader of R & C.
Eugene H. Pool Virgil P. Gibney William Bradley Coley Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled (R & C) New York Hospital Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) Philip D. Wilson Franklin D. Roosevelt Fiorella H. LaGuardia Robert Moses Robert B. Osgood Memorial Hospital Philip D. Wilson, Jr Bradley L. Coley Bradley L. Coley, Jr Helen Coley Nauts Fenwick Beekman