The Los Angeles Research Study Club began in 1932 under the leadership of Dr. Isaac Hampshire Jones, an Otolaryngologist of Los Angeles. Prior to 1932, for 10 years, the group had imported E.N.T. leaders from this country and abroad to give courses. Dr. Isaac Jones and Dr. Simon Jesberg were returning from Dr. Edward Jackson's E.N.T. Post Graduate Course in Denver, when they decided to have a January course in Los Angeles. January was chosen because doctors living in a wintry climate would be tempted to come to sunny Southern California.
A Board of Directors was formed, being made up of:
Dr. Edward Budge
Dr. Frank E. Detling
Dr. Donald Dryer
Dr. A. Ray Irvine
Dr. Simon Jesberg
Dr. Harold Mackelston
Dr. Pierre Viole
Dr. Clifford Walker
Dr. Isaac Jones, Chairman
The success of the first course relieved the directors of any financial obligation. There were 102 doctors registered. The first program was entirely Otolaryngology and lasted two weeks. The course opened at St. Vincent's Hospital and on the opening day, SNOW fell. The chairman of the day was Dr. Ernest Fleming, who, in his opening address remarked that his lemons were frozen.
The program consisted of a series of lectures held each morning from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at St. Vincent's Hospital. A noon Round Table Luncheon was held each day at the Elks Club. This was a question and answer period relating to the morning lectures. The afternoons were devoted to surgical clinics at the Los Angeles County General, Good Samaritan, Childrens, Eye & Ear, and Cedars of Lebanon Hospitals, to be followed by didactic lectures.
"Out of town" speakers for this first course were: Professor George Portmann of Bordeaux, France; Dr. Edmon Prince Fowler of New York City; Dr. John Bamhill of Indianapolis; and Dr. Harry Baum of Denver. Dr. Barnhill gave a fine practical surgical anatomy course. At the completion of the first Research Study Club, the Board of Directors voted to finance the first election of Dr. Barnhill's book on Ear, Nose and Throat. It proved to be a standard book for our specialty. Dr. Paul McKibben of the U.S.C. anatomy Department and Dr. William Mellinger of Santa Barbara assisted. Lectures were given by local men. Dr. Burel Raulston of U.S.C., Dr. Verne Knudsen of U.C.L.A. and Dr. Seely Mudd of Cal Tech. For relaxation, they had a choice of golf, tennis and trips to Catalina and Aqua Caliente by plane.
The second course in 1933 had Eye and E.N.T. Dr. A. Ray Irvine was the moving spirit, assisted by Dr. Harold Wahlman.
The surgical anatomy was taken over by Dr. Isadore Friesner of New York, after Dr. Barnhill's health failed. He had powerful hands and would demonstrate his technique of using only a curette in either hand on the most sclerotic mastoid.
Dr. Simon Jesberg, with Dr. Samuel ("Sammy" to Dr. Jesberg) Crooks of Loma Linda Medical School followed Dr. Friesner. These two made a good team, very colorful and efficient. Dr. William (Bill, "the Bishop") Donoher, formerly of Salt Lake City, assisted in surgical anatomy. He also had the permanent position as toastmaster at the final banquet.
Meetings were held every January, even during World War 11 years. Outstanding teachers came from Europe, the United States and Canada.
The meetings were held at the Elk's Temple for a number of years. There was a fine pipe organ and both Dr. Isaac Jones and Eva Ghrist (her husband was Dr. Orrie Ghrist, a leader in the Research Study Club) would play the organ at the opening session. Dr. Jones would play the national anthem of the visiting lecturer's country, then our own national anthem.
We finally had to leave the Elk's Temple and had meetings in the Towne House and Ambassador Hotel until 1967, when we began permanent quarters at the Statler-Hilton Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
The Course has maintained the high ideals and traditions of its founding members. It brings to Los Angeles, each year, outstanding teachers from around the world. The last Course had enrollment of over 500. This is the oldest "continuous" Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Course in the United States.