Rudolph H.Kampmeier, MD

(1898-1990)

Rudolph Kampmeier

Dr. Kampmeier in his office at Vanderbilt Circa 1940

Rudolph Kampmeier

Dr. Kampmeier, President of the American College of Physicians, 1967 - 1968

Rudolph Kampmeier, Anne Sweeney

Anne Sweeney, MSSW, social worker 1937-48, later assistant professor of medical social work and assistant professor of preventive medicine and public health, and R. H. Kampmeier, chief of the Syphilis Clinic.

Rudolph Kampmeier was a true leader in American medicine. He excelled as an author, teacher, editor, and clinician. Dr. Kampmeier received his medical training at the State University of Iowa and joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1936. His two text books, Essentials of Syphilology (1943) and Physical Examination in Health and Disease (1950) are considered medical classics of the 20th century.

In training medical students, Dr. Kampmeier insisted on the importance of history-taking and the value of the physical exam. He made the "Vanderbilt Exam" known throughout the country. His students remember him as a marvelous teacher, who was willing to spend a great deal of time with them.

During World War II, Dr. Kampmeier literally ran the Vanderbilt Hospital and Department of Medicine by himself, with the assistance of practicing physicians from the Nashville community. He served as president of many professional organizations, most notably the Southern Medical Association (1964-65) and the American College of Physicians (1967-68). Dr. Kampmeier wrote six books and one hundred and forty papers. He also served as editor of five national medical journals.

Rudolph Kampmeier was truly a "Renaissance man." He was an accopmlished artist, cabinetmaker, writer, and physician. He was beloved by all who knew him.

The Eskind Library also has a collection of Dr. Kampmeier's personal papers. For more information, please consult the Inventory of the Rudolph H. Kampmeier Papers.