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AUTOBIOGRAPHY James Gilbert Lyerly - page 5 / 8





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the four weeks I was on duty, the State of Va. gave me $4.00 a day for board and room, plus $4.00 salary a day. The doctor gave me free board and room which resulted in me getting $8.00 per day for the month. This helped pay my overhead expenses.

In my junior and senior years I also was given a job to live and work as an intern at Grace Hospital in Richmond. I got free board and room at the hospital doing laboratory work on blood counts, urinalysis, making hospital rounds, mostly at night and seeing patients, ordering laxatives and other medicines as needed. I gave lectures and taught student nurses courses in bacteriology, anatomy and physiology. In the Summer when I had time I would help in the operating room, giving anesthetics of drops of ether or chloroform for short operations as tonsillectomies and appendectomies. I would get three good meals a day and private room with a place to study and a bed to sleep on. I got little or no money from home,

especially the last two years.

As stated before, I graduated in 1920 with a M.D. Degree

. There were no medals or honorable

mentions of high scholastic standing. I knew I was in the upper class in grades. After graduation a list of candidates was made when diplomas were given with the highest grades. I was listed second from the top. The top one was a woman, Miss Steinmets, the first woman to graduate at the Medical College of Virginia. I wonder if she was listed first because she was a woman.

Now I come to my work as a Medical Doctor. I took my internship at Memorial Hospital, one of the hospitals at the Medical College of Virginia. I got free room and board with an income of $50.00 a






appendectomy without any cost to

pay me.

anything. The interns

During that year I got appendicitis and would have an area of the hospital beds to

had visit

an the

patients, write up histories frequently assigned to work liking to me and my work.

and physicals, and help as assistant to the surgeon in operations. with Dr. C.C. Coleman, the Professor of Neurosurgery. Dr. Coleman I would type the histories, physicals and neurological examinations.

I was took a I also

helped him in operations working as his assistant. At the end of my internship, Dr. a job to work as his assistant in the private practice of neurosurgery. I was given Professor of Neurosurgery after a few years with him.

Coleman offered me the title of Assistant

I did not meet my future wife until my internship at the hospital. Her name was Emily McIlwain, born February 14, 1896, in Petersburg, Virginia. At the time she was a graduate nurse in school of nursing at the Medical College of Va. She worked in the operating room as a supervisor and gave anesthetics. We were married August 22, 1922, in a Methodist Minister’s home in Richmond, Va. before some close friends and her sister, Pauline McIlwain. (Emily was previously a member of a Methodist Church. After marriage we joined the Evangelist Lutheran Church on Monument Ave. in Richmond, Va. Our children, Jim, Ann and Peggy were baptized there.) We both shared the expense of buying an overland two seat automobile with a rumble seat in the back. We drove this car to Washington, D.C. on our honeymoon, spending several days seeing government museum buildings and visiting the Washington Zoo. Then we drove to Granite Quarry, N.C., visiting my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Lyerly, my brothers and sisters.

Emily’s mother, Margareta Klutz Gabriel, died when she was nine years old. Her father, Henry Gabriel was left with a family of a daughter Emily and a son. He put Emily in an orphan home in Petersburg, Va. and kept his son with him. (I don’t know his name). John McIlwain, a retired farmer, and his wife Cara, lived halfway between Richmond and Petersburg, about 15 miles from Richmond. They did not have any children of their own. On an occasion, they went to the orphan home in Petersburg for the purpose of adopting two girls. They adopted Emily and a girl named Pauline to raise as sisters, giving them their surname McIlwain. I understand the adoption was recorded in the County Court House near where the McIlwains lived. I visited Emily McIlwain and John and Cora McIlwain repeatedly before and after our marriage. I would travel by electric car which made hourly trips from

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