The Ralph T. and Esther L. Warburton Foundation and Dr. Hugh Judge Jewett
Fellowship in Urologic Oncology
The Fellowship in Urologic Oncology at the Brady Institute was made possible by two great physicians who were lifelong friends and shared a dedication to excellence in medicine. It is therefore fitting that this Fellowship bears their names. The aim of this summary is to inspire trainees and show how these doctors helped others throughout their lives by practicing compassionate care and clinical investigation.
Ralph T. Warburton, M.D. cared deeply for his fellow man, a practice that stemmed from his strong belief in God’s care for humanity. Ralph, also known as Tip, continually sought to help others in their lives. He was born in North Canton, Ohio on August 30, 1908. The youngest of seven children, his mother passed away of blood poisoning when he was only three years old. Tip was educated in the North Canton School public school system, and then matriculated at Hiram College, where he was an excellent student, and finally obtained his medical degree at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He interned in Cleveland and did his residency in Thomasville, Georgia.
Tip’s best friend and his soul mate was his wife, Esther, to whom he was married for 56 years. They met in school when she moved to North Canton from Johnsville, Ohio when she was 13 years old. She was his first nurse and helped him in all phases of his practice.
With his wife’s support and partnership, Tip spent a lifetime making friends all over the country, even though he lived most of his life in North Canton. An outstanding internist, he befriended those from all walks of life, from the famous and the ordinary. In 1940, having practiced medicine for only 5 years, he visited the Mayo Clinic because he had heard so much about its stellar reputation and wanted to learn from it. When World War II began, Tip enlisted in the Navy and traveled to Washington, D.C. where he treated White House employees. He was then deployed to the Pacific Theater on Guam where he built a hospital that served injured soldiers fighting at the Battle of Iwo Jima.
Inspired by these experiences and the people he met during the war, Tip created a medical foundation in 1970 that included a number of subspecialties. His mission was excellence for his patients and Tip advocated for each and every one of them. He served his patients by making house calls, visiting nursing homes, meeting patients at the hospital before their admission, and phoning them up on Sunday afternoons. Tip considered his patients his friends. He maintained these relationships during decades of practice, which lasted well into his 90s. If he needed assistance in diagnosing a patient, Tip was not afraid to ask for help. For instance, when he needed help concerning his own health, he sought out Dr. Jewett at Johns Hopkins and in the process made lifelong friends of Dr. Jewett and Dr. Walsh. Tip always believed in seeking the best.
Tip Warburton was a wonderful father, husband, friend, and physician. He valued his patients, his craft, and the Hippocratic Oath. He was a person that anyone would do well to model themselves after, particularly other physicians.
Hugh Judge Jewett, M.D., a pioneer in urologic oncology, is considered one of the founders of the field. Dr. Jewett was born in Baltimore, MD on September 26th, 1903. He received both his B.A. in 1926 and M.D. in 1930 from Johns Hopkins University and went on to train in urology under Hugh Hampton Young. Following his internship, he was one of the first residents to rotate at the Ancker Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota where he became proficient at transurethral prostate resection, pioneered by Dr. F.E.B. Foley. Dr. Jewett returned from training with Dr. Foley with so much enthusiasm for endoscopic surgery that the rotation became part of the Brady residency. A gifted scholar and surgeon, his life was not all work and no play. He was known for his popularity with Baltimore debutantes and for riding the vacuum cleaner in the hospital hallways while wishing patients sweet dreams. He also managed to perch a derby hat on the large statue of Christ in the Johns Hopkins lobby one night, as recounted by one of his interns, Dr. Ormond S. Culp.1
Upon finishing his residency, he was allowed to stay on at the Brady as part-time staff, an unusual privilege granted by Dr. Young. When he asked Young to recommend a project for research, Young suggested that he review all of the patients with bladder tumors to see if he could come up with a classification that would guide therapy. In looking through the records he found that each patient had undergone cystoscopy by at least three separate urologists (Dr. Young and his associates) with each one providing a description of the tumor. Unfortunately, none of these descriptions matched. He realized the need for a more accurate parameter other than the visual appearance of the tumor, which led him to the autopsy records of the Johns Hopkins Hospital. There he found that the depth of tumor invasion predicted the probability of lymph node involvement and based on this observation developed the Jewett classification of bladder tumors, a monumental discovery.2 After Young retired in 1942, Jewett became the country’s preeminent advocate for radical prostatectomy and went on to develop the sub classification of palpable tumors.3 During his academic career he wore many hats, including editor of the Journal of Urology (1966 to 1977) and President of the American Urological Association (1965 to 1966). He was awarded the Barringer and Keyes Medals by the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons (AAGS), the Ramon Guiteras Award by the American Urological Association (AUA), the first Commendation of Merit Award from the AUA, and the Valentine Medal from the New York Academy of Medicine. Given Dr. Jewett’s many contributions to the Brady Urologic Institute as well as to the field of urologic oncology, it seems only fitting that the fellowship be named in his honor alongside his lifelong friend Dr. Warburton.
Culp OS: Hugh Judge Jewett--the compleat urologist. J. Urol. 1977; 118: 142–7.
- Jewett HJ: Carcinoma of the bladder: diagnostic appraisal and choice of treatment. J. Urol. 1961; 86: 572–82.
- Jewett HJ, Bridge RW, Gray GF, et al: The palpable nodule of prostatic cancer. Results 15 years after radical excision. JAMA 1968; 203: 403–6.