Early Career in New York and Europe: 1921-1928

In 1921 Wilder Penfield and his family returned from England to the United States, where he took over the neurological surgery service at the Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. During this period Penfield became a specialist in neurosurgery and, as is shown through the notes of his visit to Harvey Cushing's clinic in Boston, learned what he could from those already established in the specialty. Also included in this section is correspondence regarding Penfields establishment of a neurocytology laboratory at the Presbyterian Hospital in 1925 to research how wounded nerve cells in the brain healed.

Originally settling in Yonkers, New York, the Penfields eventually moved to the suburb community of Riverdale. Images of the family's home, relatives, and frequent camping trips are found in a 1919-1927 photograph album. They remained in Riverdale until 1928 when Penfield accepted an offer from McGill University and the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) to become Montreal's first trained neurosurgeon. However, before moving to Montreal, Penfield and his family travelled to Breslau, Germany where he worked with the neurologist Professor Otfrid Foerster, studying samples of excised brain scarring. Documented here by a series of photographs featuring the Penfield family and Foerster's family, the European trip also provided Penfield with the opportunity to study and write a report on the state of neurological research and surgery in Europe for the Rockefeller Foundation, also included in this section.

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