McClintock Era (1902-1944)

John Thomas McClintock was born in 1873. In 1894 he received his BA from Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa and went on to attend The University of Iowa where he obtained his M.D. in 1898. During his graduate work he served as an instructor in Pathology. He was appointed as the Acting Head in the Department of Physiology at The University of Iowa in 1902 and was named Chair of the Department in 1904, which he served as until he retired in 1944. Dr. McClintock passed away in 1954. Dr. McClintock was the first Physiology Department chairman at Iowa who had been specially trained in the basic sciences, and whose entire professional career was devoted to the teaching of physiology and conducting administrative affairs in the College of Medicine.

Dr. McClintock's appointment marked for Physiology at Iowa, the beginning of the present system of Department Heads (and all departmental faculty members) being full time, in-residence and specially-trained. Teaching under this new system included student laboratory instruction, which had been first discussed at the end of Dr. Dean's Chairmanship. In 1901, F.W. Bailey M.D., the Dean's Assistant, was sent to Johns Hopkins University to work with Dr. William H. Howell to learn techniques useful in teaching in student laboratories. When Dr. Bailey returned to Iowa he instituted the first student laboratory course in Physiology. In the fall of 1901, laboratory sessions were held in the roofed-over basement of South Hall which, along with the Medical Building, had earlier been damaged in a fire.


Dr. McClintock delivered lectures on topics of medical and physiological interest that were noted in "the Middlentonian"- a periodical of the Middletonian Society, an association of medical students that was named after the first Chairman of Physiology, Dr. W.D. Middleton. This periodical, published between 1901 and 1909, was devoted to biographies of faculty members, class news, photographs of medical buildings and faculty members, and technical articles.


A bound collection of reprints of published research from the Department of Physiology from the library of J.T. McClintock, and now in the possession of Dr. G. Edgar Folk of the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at The University of Iowa tells us that the following were faculty in the Department during this time: John McClintock, Harry M. Hines, Chester E. Leese, Waid W. Tuttle, and Clinton Knowlton.

As far as can be determined, no graduate degrees were given in the Department prior to 1925. However, between 1925 and 1936 five degrees were earned. The first Ph.D. was obtained in 1930 by Chester E. Leese.

In 1923 Professors G.H. Plant (Pharmacology), J.T. McClintock, and S. H. Orton (Psychiatry) agreed to contribute funds to establish a shop in the Psychopathic Hospital to manufacture, maintain and repair the Departments' equipment. A.P. Freund, a machinist from Ohio State, was hired to run the shop. He brought with him his own equipment and new machines were purchased as funding became available. In 1927 the shop was moved to the newly constructed Medical Laboratories Building. The shop was renamed The Medical Instrument Shop and eventually led the way in designing and building an award-winning infrared "scanner" as well as one of the earliest successful heart-lung machines used in open-heart surgery at The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.


Professor Tuttle taught students in Physical Education and Home Economics, Professor Knowlton taught students in Nursing, and Professors Hines and Winter taught students in Dentistry.


Two senior medical students, P.J. McCann and L.A. Smith, were hired as part-time student teaching assistants. It was decided to continue this method of securing teaching assistances until a full-time instructor could be obtained.