From the Archives: The first fellows, July 1921

From the Archives: The first fellows, July 1921

From the Archives: The first fellows, July 1921


Author: Employee Communications/Friday, July 01, 2016

Every July, Cleveland Clinic welcomes a new class of residents. This year, more than 450 new residents will participate in a tradition of graduate medical education stretching back to 1921 when Cleveland Clinic welcomed its first two residents (then known as fellows), Charles L. Hartsock, MD, and William O. Johnson, MD. 

Dr. Hartsock, a native of Bedford County, Pennsylvania, came to Cleveland Clinic for a two-year fellowship in medicine after earning his medical degree at Johns Hopkins University. This fellowship was the beginning of Dr. Hartsock’s 40-year career with Cleveland Clinic — practicing internal medicine, specializing in headache and gastrointestinal disease. At his death in 1961, Dr. Hartsock was the oldest active Cleveland Clinic staff member. He was one month shy of turning 65 years old. 

Dr. Johnson, born in Winchester, Kentucky in 1894, was also a Johns Hopkins graduate. He spent one year at Cleveland Clinic as a surgical fellow. While most of Dr. Johnson’s career was spent in Louisville, Kentucky, he maintained his connection to Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Johnson regularly attended alumni reunions and served as President of the Alumni Association. He even played Cleveland Clinic founder William Lower in a satirical skit at the 1926 annual meeting. 

Since its founding in 1921, education has been central to the mission of Cleveland Clinic. Since starting with these two fellows, nearly 15,000 physicians and scientists have trained at Cleveland Clinic. Some, like Dr. Hartsock, started long and productive careers at Cleveland Clinic. Others, like Dr. Johnson, used their training to elevate the level of care at other healthcare institutions around the world. All of them are part of a nearly 100-year tradition of “better care of the sick, investigation into their problems and further education of those who serve.” 

For more information, contact Cleveland Clinic Archives at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 216.448.2929.

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