Clinical Psychology Training Program Anniversary

SFGH: Historical Notes and Photos

Excerpt from "Catastrophes, Epidemics, and Neglected Diseases: San Francisco General Hospital and the Evolution of Public Care”  by F. William Blaisdell, MD and Moses Grossman, MD, Copyright © 1999 by the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation.

CPTP SFGH 01 1915 1776: Mission Dolores is founded at what is now the corner of Dolores and 16th St.

1822: Following the Mexican Revolution, Spanish reign over California ends. (Page 21)

1844: “San Francisco's first physician, John Townsend, arrived in California with the Stevens’ expedition on December 13, 1844... and opened his medical office there in 1846.  At that time, San Francisco's population was approximately 200.” (Page 21)

1847-1849: "The population of San Francisco had increased from 450 in 1847 to 2000 in 1848.  It jumped to 5000 in 1849, following the discovery of gold… by the end of 1849, 4000 people were disembarking from ships monthly.  Health Officer J. H. Rogers visited more than 500 ships in 1850 and noted that more than one half the passengers carried disease.  Especially noteworthy was the presence of scurvy; one in 26 who arrived in San Francisco had scurvy and the affliction carried a 30% mortality.” (pp.22-23)

1849: “The [Health and Police] Committee's first medical recommendation was the erection of a State Marine Hospital with funds raised by a tax on foreigners arriving by ship.  Whether a hospital or jail was the most urgent need was debated; in the absence of sufficient funds it could not create both.  The problem was resolved in favor of the jail, and the solution provided by renting one abandoned ship.  The problem of the hospital was deferred.” (Page 24)

1856: “In 1856 the City and County of San Francisco were united under a single government and, as required by State mandate, it was reaffirmed that the County (in this instance the City-County) was now and in the future liable for indigent care.” (Page 32)

1857:  “The City and County Hospital, situated on the south-west corner of Francisco and Stockton streets, was opened on the 18th of July 1857.” (Page 33)

1864: "In the fall of 1864, Dr. Hugh Toland opened his new medical school, which in 1872 would become the University of California.  The Medical School building was located on Stockton Street near Chestnut adjacent to the City and County Hospital. Toland offered to run the Hospital for the City, but negotiations broke down, primarily over control of appointments to the staff.  In 1865, Toland was granted permission to use the hospital for clinical instruction."  (Page 37)

1871: "The location for the new hospital was much debated… The Potrero site was finally selected…Part of the justification, in addition to the availability of land, was the balmy climate of the Mission area…The Hospital is open to all the sick citizens, being altogether supported by the City.  All persons who may be injured, either by accident or in affrays are taken to the Hospital, day or night, by the police, and receive proper treatment.  The Resident Physician also has what is termed outside treatments.  These are poor people, who being unable to employ the services of a physician, go to the hospital and are treated gratis.” (Page 40)

1872: "On August 28, 1872, the new City-County Hospital on Potrero Street was opened… it was described as a two-story, wooden frame building with a brick foundation…” (Page 43)

1903:  “The Hospital had been opened to… six training institutions: University of California, Polyclinic, Cooper Medical College, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Hannemann Medical College of the Pacific, and California Medical College.  The hospital wards were …divided among the schools.”  (Page 58)CPTP SFGH 02 1919

1906: “The Earthquake and Great Fire devastated the City in April 18, 1906… the Hospital with its wood frame structure anchored on the firm rock of Potrero Hill survived more or less intact, with minimal injury to inmates or staff.” (Page 60)

1907: ”A 12-bed children's award was finally opened early 1907 with Dr. Langley Porter in charge.  Dr. Porter was also responsible for the isolation ward.  Children up to eight years of age were admitted.” (Page 61)

1907: “On August 12, 1907, plague once again was manifest in the City [after the 1906 earthquake]… on August 27th the Hospital was closed for all cases except those of plague and the hospital was placed under quarantine.  [Because of rat infestation] the Hospital was formally condemned as a nuisance on September 17, 1907… after having been vacated, the old City and County Hospital was torn down by the Board of Public Works and the wreckage burned.”  (Page 62)

1909: “The Board of Health on February 11, 1909 proposed to the new designation for the City and County Hospital be ‘San Francisco Hospital’ and this name was adopted for the new hospital then being planned.” (Page 64)  “The cornerstone of a new hospital on the Potrero Avenue site was laid by Mayor Edward Taylor using a silver trowel on November 31, 1909.” (Page 67)

1915: "On May 1, 1915, Mayor Rolph dedicated the new hospital… The building was fireproof and built of brick in Italian Renaissance style with terra-cotta trim.” (Page 69)

“The Medical Schools involved in the Hospital had shrunk to two shortly after the new hospital opened in 1915.  The Flexner report, which was a review of the sorry state of medical education in 1910, recommended establishment of standard criteria which included pre-medical college preparation and formalized medical school basic science courses which the majority of the proprietary schools in the United States could not meet.  The University of California (UC) and Stanford (former Cooper Medical College) where the only two schools in Northern California to receive a class A designation… hospital administrators came to rely more and more on the UC and Stanford faculty to press for the resources needed to maintain a reasonable standard of care.  This third force proved critical in obtaining even the basics of necessities for patients.  Often only a major scandal was sufficient to push the politicians and to providing for the needs of modern medical practice.” (Pp. 75-76).

1920’s:  “Psychiatric cases were initially considered a state responsibility.  Until the 1920’s, psychiatric problems, drug addiction, and acute alcoholism cases were admitted to the Detention Hospital… In the early 20s, a major lobbying campaign was initiated to establish a psychiatric ward at San Francisco Hospital.  The Federation of Women's Clubs noted that San Francisco was the only city its size without one and complained that San Francisco should not have to rely entirely on state hospitals… The psychiatric ward was opened in 1924 to treat acute problems and to limit state hospital admissions to chronic cases.” (Pp. 74-75)

1950’s:  “In May 1959 in the first contract with University of California was signed and amounted to 1% of the total hospital budget or $154,000… the value of teaching programs to a public hospital was emphasized by the university in their negotiations with the city…” (Page 90)

1963: “In 1963 a modern medical library funded primarily by UC was opened on Ward 31.  It was named the Briggs-Barnett library after two former chiefs of medicine on the UC and Stanford service.”  (Page 93)

SFGH Campus1965:  “By 1965, it was obvious that the antiquated facility had to be replaced.  The pressing need for more psychiatry beds, the general overcrowding, and the problems of maintenance and staffing all combined to emphasize the inadequacy of the 50-year-old hospital…a $33.7 million bond issue… passed overwhelmingly with the highest support of any bond issue since the earthquake of 1906.  A new hospital would be forthcoming!” (Page 93)

1970’s:  “On September 24, 1971 groundbreaking ceremonies for the new hospital building were held… On July 19, 1976, the new $42.5 million, 653 bed hospital was finally completed and dedicated… On August 15, 1976, with the help of an Army reserve unit than a hundred volunteers patients were moved into the new hospital… The hospital was staffed by 2000 city employees and 420 medical personnel from the University of California.” (Pages 112-113)

The UCSF Department of Psychiatry at SFGH (1977- 2007), notes by Ricardo F. Muñoz, PhD

July 1977:  The Department of Psychiatry at SFGH comes under the umbrella of the UCSF Department of Psychiatry.  Robert Wallerstein is Chair of the Department.  Don Tusel, M.D., is Acting Chief, until Frank Johnson, M.D. becomes the first official Chief of the SFGH Department of Psychiatry.

1978:  A. Michael Rossi, Ph.D. becomes the first Chief Psychologist at SFGH.  He takes the lead in writing an NIMH Training Grant to create a Clinical-Community Psychology Internship at SFGH.  The grant is funded.

1979-1983:  The Predoctoral Internship in Clinical/Community Psychology at San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center trains four classes of interns. View brochure (PDF) A. Michael Rossi, Ph.D., is the Director of Training.  Among the requirements is a community-based research project, intended to “introduce them to the methods and skills of community assessment, program development, prevention, and community-based research.”SFGH Campus 2

1983: NIMH terminates all funding for clinical training.  The SFGH training program and the LPPI training program join forces as a joint UCSF Clinical Psychology Training Program (CPTP) with a new format:  a two-year predoctoral/postdoctoral Fellowship designed to train clinical psychologists interested in a clinical research career.  Clifford Attkisson, Ph.D. is the first Director of the two-year CPTP.  The research aspects of the program, including the empirical research project now required of Fellows, dovetails nicely with the community-based research project requirement of the SFGH internship program, and having two years to complete the project makes it much more feasible.

1992: Ricardo F. Muñoz, Ph.D., becomes Director of the CPTP when Clifford Attkisson steps down to become Dean of the Graduate School at UCSF.


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