SEPTEMBER 19, 1938
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Friday afternoon I spoke to a group of the women workers in the Mayo Clinic and had an opportunity to see their system of filing records. They have a marvelous mechanical system of tubes through which they can send the record of a case from a central office to any one of the hospitals in two minutes. To an outsider it seems somewhat complicated. They assure me that, for their purposes, their system of filing is simple and almost foolproof.
If a doctor specializes in some particular kind of surgery, he may, at a moment's notice, have the records covering a thirty year period of all the cases of particular interest to him. The records of patients who are actually in the clinic of course, are, until they leave, kept in an open file for the benefit of their doctors.
From the clinic I went up to the hospital to say goodbye to James. I found him in a new room and looking better, it seemed to me, because of the brighter room and the more open view from his windows. I left Rochester feeling well satisfied, for the doctors, themselves, seemed more than content with his improvement.
John Sargent, of Boston, Jimmy's friend and partner, had come up to stay until Sunday and a wire from Betsey to Chicago yesterday morning announced that James had enjoyed a breakfast of greater variety than our own.
I was delighted to see an old friend as we stepped off the train in Chicago yesterday morning. He had been sent by his paper to meet us and I imagine the assignment was none too welcome at that hour in the morning, for we arrived at seven-fifteen. I urged him to come to breakfast with us, and we all had great fun in spite of our early rising.
The train on which we came East did not leave until 11:00 a.m., so we obtained a radio to listen to the President's speech. The first part of it came over very clearly and then all of a sudden we heard nothing more. I had to wait until I could read a newspaper later to make sure that I had heard it all.
Speaking of newspapers, there are two young columnists I find myself reading with increasing interest. Joe Alsop and Robert Kintner are writing on political subjects with a clarity of expression which denotes clarity of thought. I don't always agree with them, but I always enjoy them, and I am glad to see political subjects handled by the two young men.
It seems to me that one of our needs today is to have different points of view put before us clearly. For instance, what do we want our respective political parties to represent? Comparatively few of us stop to think either of what they now represent, or what we want them to represent. There is confusion on many subjects at home, but we can clarify our thinking on domestic questions if we will take the trouble. Perhaps it may help us to understand the situation abroad where affairs remain tense. While they continue to talk the situation over, however, at least war is temporarily postponed.