Carroll Larson


Following Dr. Steindler’s departure from the University in 1948 the Department was fortunate that the next chairman was Dr. Carroll Larson, a native Iowan, and a warm, kind and thoughtful clinician and a stimulating teacher. Dr. Larson had received much of his orthopaedic education in Boston and returned to Iowa to serve the University as Chairman of the Orthopaedics Department for 22 years.

Dr. Larson served a critical role in the Shriner's Hospitals. He was their medical consultant for several years, and then in 1968 he took a year leave of absence from the University of Iowa and worked for the Shrine full time.

Up until that time the 22 Hospitals in the system were run by a Surgeon from the local area who usually had a busy private practice in town. They therefore did not devote full attention to the Shrine Hospital. Dr. Larson made several important contributions to the system.

  • He convinced the Shrine Boards to hire full time chief surgeons at each Hospital,and this led to hiring assistant Chief Surgeons and other full time staff.
  • He helped them hire their first full time medical director, Dr. Newt McCullough.
  • Dr McCullough worked with the Medical Advisory Board to inspect each hospital every three years, and he and the Board recruited the staff for the local Hospitals. He also developed the rules and regulations for the Hospitals.
  • He supported the development of research activities in the Hospitals that had laboratories.

At the end of his work with the Shrine, Dr. Larson had Dr. Reginald Cooper placed in the system as Chairman of the Research Advisory Board, a position that he held for several years. Dr. Cooper then became the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board and served in this capacity for many years.