Associate of Harvey Cushing, scholar, investigator, editor, teacher, and curator of the Brain Tumor Registry at Yale. She was a Charter Member of the Harvey Cushing Society which she served as President, long-term Secretary-Treasurer, and Historian. She achieved many “firsts” for women in medicine. A figure in the Homeric tradition of observing accurately and reporting honestly, Dr. Eisenhardt set high standards for both colleagues and students as well as for aspiring medical authors. She left a tradition worthy of emulation 1).
Written with Louise Eisenhardt and published in 1938, Meningiomas is a monograph of incredible description and detail. The meticulous categorization of meningiomas, their presentation, clinical outcome, and surgical therapies are even further supplemented by Cushing's personal commentary, questions, and recollections. Cushing's genius was evident in his ability not only to make insightful clinical observations, but also to synthesize these ideas within the neurosurgical context of his era. As he says in Meningiomas, “Thus the pathological curiosity of one day becomes in its proper time a commonplace… most of which are one and the same disorder–had, for their interpretation, to await the advent of the Neurosurgeon 2).
As the first editor of the Journal of Neurosurgery in 1965, Louise Eisenhardt, acting with the advice of the editorial board, was responsible for making decisions on the acceptance or rejection of submitted manuscripts. Her log, covering the first 14 years of editorial decisions, is a record of neurosurgical progress and of the forces–scientific, technical and other–that shaped the field of neurosurgery. Any peer-review process is subject to pitfalls that become evident in retrospect, but an effective peer review process is one of the basic ingredients of scientific progress. The decisions to accept or reject manuscripts submitted to the Journal of Neurosurgery during Eisenhardt's tenure are highlighted in a historical vignette 3).