Henry Ford Hospital’s First Physician-in-Chief

“The great need of the world has always been for leaders. With more leaders we could have more industry. More industry, more employment and comfort for all.”
– Henry Ford

Leaders define an industry, rise to the challenge, create a path where there is none, and leave a great mark, a lasting legacy that inspires generations.

Dr. Frank Sladen

From the Conrad R. Lam Collection, Henry Ford Health System. ID=01-013

Dr. Frank J. Sladen was such a leader; for nearly 60 years he was an invaluable member of the Henry Ford Hospital staff, not only as a physician, but also as a medical educator, scholar, and administrator.

Dr. Sladen was Henry Ford Hospital’s “first” physician and most notably its first physician-in-chief, appointed by Henry Ford himself in 1915.

But his medical career in Detroit began several years beforehand, when Detroit General Hospital – which would become Henry Ford Hospital in 1915 – was in its infancy.

He was recruited to Detroit General Hospital by Dr. Carl R. Meloy and Dr. William F. Metcalf from Johns Hopkins after serving as Resident in Medicine and Associate Professor of Medicine under renowned physician, Professor Sir William Osler.

“The new hospital, the Detroit General, will be by far the best thing in Detroit, and though comparatively small in the beginning is ideally planned and will be founded upon ideal principles,” Dr. Meloy wrote to Dr. Sladen in 1911. Continue reading

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