(Oct. 27, 1877-Jan. 24, 1962). A native of Aurora, Indiana, Gatch received an A.B. degree from Indiana University in 1901. He graduated from Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1907, remaining there until 1909 as an intern and resident. While at Hopkins he devised the first hand-cranked “hospital bed” or Gatch bed. This bed was divided into sections for the independent elevation of a patient’s head and knees.

Following a residency at Washington University in St. Louis, in 1912 Gatch became associate professor of surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He also maintained a large private practice in Indianapolis. In 1928, as head of the surgery department, he established the first residency programs recognized by the Board of Surgery in Indiana.

Dean of the School of Medicine from 1931 to 1946, Gatch established the school’s clinical laboratories and medical illustration department. He presided over a critical period for the school, attempting to conform to national standards in medical education at a time of scanty Depression-era budgets. 

During World War II, facing depletion of the staff at the same time the number of students was growing, he arranged deferments for School of Medicine faculty to help meet the medical needs of the armed forces. Following the war, he continued his studies on surgical shock.

Revised February 2021

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