Charles Emile Benjamins: 4. Groningen, The Netherlands 1924-1940

PROFESSOR OF ORL AT GRONINGEN UNIVERSITY

In 1924 Charles Emile was appointed professor in ear-nose and-throat diseases at Groningen University. He gave his Inaugural Address on the subject of “Overgevoeligheids Ziekten der Bovenste Luchtwegen”-Hyper sensitivity diseases of the upper respiratory tracts- on Saturday 20 September 1924

Activities as a professor:
Charles Emile’s activities as ORL professor were manifold and included:
1. Conducting research, his main task.
2. Lecturing: General introduction courses on ORL diseases for medical students.
3. Training residents in becoming ORL specialists and coaching PhD students working on their dissertations.
4. Managing the ORL clinic of which he was the head, seeing patients who were referred to  him and conducting surgery when needed.
5. Reviewing ORL publications by other authors.

1. Conducting research
The result of his research during the period 1924-1939 is summarized in 291 papers, including research conducted under his supervision by his assistants and students preparing to become ORL specialist or working on their dissertations.
His clinical research was by nature directly linked with the medical problems of the patients referred to him, while his physiologic research was more fundamental of nature.

The main subjects of his clinical research were summarized by Egbert H.Huizing and Paul van den Broek (3) as follows:

  • Clinical research in allergology
  • Labyrinthine function based on animal experiments with Eelco Huizinga, his senior assistant
  • Acoustic subjects together with the physicist H.C. Huizing.  
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Bony tumors of the nose and sinuses


To illustrate his broad interests and wide range of activities, the following table shows the titles of a selection of the publications he had been associated with, including:

  • His Inaugural Address;
  • Clinical lessons: ten public lectures addressed to his peers, including ORL specialists and medical researchers in related fields;
  • Dissertations of the ten PhD students who studied under him;
  • Nine papers on research conducted when he was resident in Semarang, Java;
  • Nine papers on acoustical subjects. In addition three of his students choose an acoustic subject for their dissertation:-Huizing H.C. Hacquebord P. and Pannekoek F.J.M
    NB. H.C.Huizing, a physicist actually did his dissertation with Prof F. Zernicke, the professor in Physics at Groningen University and later Nobel price winner, with Charles Emile as co- promoter. It is to be noted that the papers written by the physicist H.C.Huizing were written under his own responsibility, while Charles Emile‘s responsibility was obviously restricted to the ORL aspects of the research conducted in the acoustical laboratory.