Fonds P219 - David R. Boyd Fonds

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David R. Boyd Fonds

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  • 1968-2016 (Creation)
    Boyd, David R.

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Physical description

16.8 cm of textual records
3 photographs : colour

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Name of creator

(born 1937)

Biographical history

During his long medical career, Dr. David R. Boyd was a driving force behind what is now a national system of trauma, emergency care, and emergency medical services systems in the United States. Davis Ross Boyd was born in Seattle, Washington, on 2 February 1937. He attended high school at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Seattle and then graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in psychology and pre-medical studies from Central Washington College of Education in 1958. He received his MDCM from the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University in 1963. Boyd's initial professional goal was academic surgery teaching and critical care research, but he was quickly drawn to trauma medicine and delivery systems. After his graduation from McGill, he interned at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. He was drafted by the US Army in 1964, serving as Captain and Chief Medical Officer, Examining and Entrance Station, at Fort Holabird, Maryland, from 1964-1966. After his military service, he joined the University of Maryland Hospital as a general surgical resident before being invited by Dr. R. Adams Cowley to become the first Shock Trauma Fellow at the fledgling Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems. He returned to the Cook County Hospital after that, eventually becoming the nation's first Resident Director of a trauma unit and establishing the first computerized trauma registry in the US under a grant from the US National Institutes of Health. In the 1970s, Boyd proposed the concept of a statewide trauma centre system to Illinois governor Richard B. Ogilvie, subsequently developing the first statewide Trauma and Emergency Medical Services System. Boyd was appointed Emergency Medical Director and Disaster Officer for the state of Illinois, during which appointment he implemented the concept of selective designation of a limited number of trauma centres. In 1972, Boyd and colleagues won a contract bid for a White House EMSS demonstration providing for the inclusion of other medical emergencies, such as burns, spinal cord injuries, cardiac, poison control, clinical toxicology, neonatal transfers, and behavioural emergencies. The establishment of programs for advanced training and education for EMSS leaders, improved disaster response, and the creation of CPR and EMS councils of citizens created a total emergency medical services system for Illinois. Testifying before Congress in 1973, Boyd encouraged the national initiative to develop state Health Authority "EMSS Lead Agencies" to establish regionalized EMS systems. He assisted with the writing of the EMS Systems Act of 1973 (PL 93-154). In 1974, Boyd was appointed National Director of Emergency Medical Services Systems. He established a federal lead agency for the National EMSS program and carried a coordinated grant and technical assistance programme to each state and regional EMS agency over the next decade. In 1983, Boyd ran a private EMSS consulting firm before returning to clinical practice in emergency medicine in 1991 in Indian Country, later serving as the general surgeon for the Blackfeet Nation in Browning, MT. In 2006 Boyd was appointed the National Trauma Systems Coordinator in the Indian Health Service, in Rockville, MD. Boyd retired in 2012. Boyd is married to Joyce M. Boyd, MDCM, whom he met at McGill University and who served as DIrector of Public Health in Howard County, MD, for 2 years. The couple has four children.

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Scope and content

Fonds documents the development of Dr. Boyd's career in trauma care and emergency medical services systems, beginning at the University of Maryland in Baltimore and Cook County Hospital in Chicago, where he became interested in hemorrhagic shock and other clinical investigations, through his work in establishing national emergency medical services systems and his experience with the Indian Health Service. Also includes publications and clippings honouring Boyd's contributions as the founder of emergency medical services systems. Fonds largely comprised of reprints and copies of articles for scholarly and popular publications. Also contains some manuscripts of unpublished works and one draft of published work.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by David R. Boyd to the Osler Library of the History of Medicine, November 2015, and October 2018.


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  • English

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Fonds is in English with a small amount of French and Japanese.

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