Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/67

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JOHNSTONE


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JOHNSTONE


graduated in 1872. After leaving col- lege he joined a corps of United States engineers, which was employed on a triangulation of a portion of the Mississippi.

He began to study medicine with Dr. John B. Jackson, of Danville, a man with a high reputation for learn- ing, then attended one course of lec- tures at Tulane University, in 1873, and graduated from the University of New York in 1876, after graduation practising in Danville with Dr. A. R. McKee. This arrangement lasted but a short time, when Johnstone returned to New York and studied for three months in Charles Heitzman's laboratory, while taking a course in diseases of the eye with Knapp in his cHnic.

He now returned to a country prac- tice, but again only for a short time. His strong incHnation had always led him towards surgery, and becoming interested in gynecology, which was at that time rapidly advancing along bold surgical lines, he determined to pursue this as a specialty. To this end he wrote to Lawson Tait, at Birming- ham, England, asking him whether he would receive him as a pupil, and on what terms. It happened that Tait was, at that time, prejudiced against Americans, and on receiving Johnstone's letter he remarked to Greig Smith, who was with him, that he would make his fee so large that it would be prohibitive. He wrote Johnstone, therefore, that his terms were $2,000 for a year. To his surprise, John- stone at once accepted. A personal acquaintance with Johnstone soon suf- ficed to obliterate all prejudice and antipathy on Tait's part, and he often subsequently referred to Johnstone as his most promising pupil. Johnstone remained with Tait six months, during which time his paper on "Menstrua- tion," which attracted a great deal of attention, was read before the British Gynecological Society, then sitting in Birmingham.

On Johnstone's return he settled


once more in Danville, where he started a private hospital, with the intention of building up an exclusively gynecolog- ical practice, and he soon secured patients from all parts of the State. He was, I believe, the first person in Kentucky during this period to operate for extra-uterine pregnancy, after mak- ing a diagnosis. It was about this time (1886) that he joined the Amer- ican Gynecological Society.

About three years later Johnstone formed a partnership with that emi- nent and much-loved old warrior in the surgical world, Dr. Thaddeus Reamy, of Cincinnati. This association, how- ever, was not a happy one and lasted but a year; after its termination, he opened another private hospital of his own in Cincinnati, near Mt. Auburn.

In 1897 Dr. Johnstone married Ethel Chamberlin, a daughter of Major W. H. Chamberlin.

In September, 1905, Johnstone was taken ill with what he himself at first supposed was a simple attack of colic; Dr. B. R. Rachford and Dr. Marion Whitacre, however, who were immedi- ately called in, made a diagnosis of appen- dicitis of a severe character. Dr. E. C. Dudley, of Chicago, operated on Sep- tember 16; on opening the abdominal cavity he remarked that the case was the most desperate one he had seen. During the ensuing night compli- cations arose, and Dr. Dudley had no sooner reached home than he had to hasten back. Upon reopening the abdomen an intestinal obstruction was found with an acute peritonitis, which made the condition hopeless, and Dr. Johnstone survived this operation only two hours, conscious almost to the last, and assuring those around him that the operation had given him his one chance of recovery.

Dr. Johnstone was always a student and an investigator, and his eagerness was both attractive and contagious. Each year saw him seeking fresh knowl- edge in various schools and post- graduate courses.