A History of the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania

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The beginnings of America's first medical school (excerpt):

Dr. John Morgan, M.D.

In [Dr. Morgan's] address will be found an exposition of the nature and scope of medical science; a sketch of the departments of which it is composed, with the reasons for their special cultivation; an advocacy of classical, literary, and general scientific attainments on the part of the student of medicine, and, what is pertinent to the purpose, the demonstration that to be effectively taught “a coalition is required of able men, who would undertake to give complete and regular courses of lectures on the different branches of medicine.” In connection with his statements, the author insists especially upon the advantages presented by the city of Philadelphia, to which even then students resorted, attracted as well by the reputation of its practitioners, as by the facilities for clinical instruction afforded them in the hospital.

In this literary and scientific performance, a prognostication was uttered which has been fully realized, viz: “Perhaps this Medical Institution, the first of its kind in America, though small in its beginning, may receive a constant increase of strength and annually exert new vigor. It may collect a number of young persons of more than ordinary abilities, and so improve their knowledge as to spread its reputation to distant parts. By sending these abroad duly qualified, or by exciting an emulation amongst men of parts and literature, it may give birth to other useful institutions of a similar nature, or occasional rise, by its example, to numerous societies of different kinds calculated to spread the light of knowledge through the whole American continent wherever inhabited.”




























  • Introduction
  • The first physicians of Pennsylvania—Their education abroad—Their professional and public influence—The succeeding generation of medical men, and their education at home and abroad—Their character and labors—The institution of the American Philosophical Society, and of the Pennsylvania Hospital
  • Commencement of medical teaching in America—Dr. Cadwalader’s lectures on anatomy in Philadelphia—Dr. Hunter’s lectures at Newport—Dr. Shippen, Jr., opens an anatomical school—Dr. Fothergill’s contributions for teaching anatomy—Dr. John Morgan, his education and early labors—Dr. Shippen’s education and studies— Dr. Morgan submits his plan of a medical school to the trustees of the college
  • Foundation of the College of Philadelphia—Application of Dr. Morgan—His appointment to the professorship of theory and practice of physic—His public discourse—Dr. Shippen appointed Professor of Anatomy and Surgery—Organization of the medical department—Dr. Bond delivers clinical lectures in the Pennsylvania Hospital—Rules for the government of the medical department of the College—Dr. Wm. Smith’s lectures on natural and experimental philosophy
  • Dr. Adam Kuhn; education and appointment to the professorship of botany and materia medica—Fees of the college—Degree of Bachelor of Medicine conferred in 1768—Degree of Doctor of Medicine conferred in New York in 1769—Commencement exercises of the college on the occasion of conferring the degree of M. B.—Dr. Benjamin Rush; his education and correspondence while in Europe; appointment to the professorship of chemistry—First faculty of medicine organized—Commencement of 1771
  • Connection between the medical department of the College of Philadelphia and that of the University of Edinburgh—Sketch of the origin of the Edinburgh school and of its position in 1768—Dr. Cullen
  • Effect of the American Revolution upon the College of Philadelphia—Abrogation of its charter and the establishment of the University of the State of Pennsylvania—Restoration of the charter and privileges to the college—Union of the two institutions under the name of University of Pennsylvania
  • Death of Dr. Hutchinson—Sketch of his life—Election of Dr. Woodhouse to the professorship of chemistry—Resignation of Dr. Griffitts—Sketch of his life—Election of Dr. Barton to the chair of materia medica—Resignation of Dr. Kuhn and election of Dr. Rush to the chair of practice—Creation of the chair of surgery and election of Dr. Physick, professor—First recognition of the. ad eundem footing. Petition to the legislature with respect to irregular practitioners—Death of Dr. Shippen and election of Dr. Wistar—Death of Dr. Woodhouse and sketch of his life—Election of Dr. Coxe to the chair of chemistry—Opinion of the faculty with respect to chemistry
  • Separation of Obstetrics from the Chair of Anatomy—Estimation of this branch in Europe, and its elevation to an equal position with other branches of the Medical Schools—Dr. Shippen’s endeavors to improve its condition in America—Election of Dr. James to the Chair of Obstetrics in the University of Pennsylvania—The tardy admission of the subject to an equality with others—Mode of examining for degrees—New By-Laws for the regulation of the Medical Department—Rules for graduation
  • Death of Dr. Rush—His services to the Medical School and his doctrines—Election of Dr. Barton to the Chair of Practice, and of Dr. Chapman to that of Materia Medica—Death of Dr. Barton—Sketch of his life and labors as a teacher and naturalist—Election of Dr. Chapman to the Professorship of Practice, and of Dr. Dorsey to that of Materia Medica
  • A Faculty of Natural Sciences organized by the Board of Trustees. Death of Dr. Wistar—Sketch of his life and services to the University—Anatomical Museum—Dr. Dorsey succeeds Dr. Wistar—Death of Dr. Dorsey—Sketch of his life—Transfer of Dr. Physick to the Chair of Anatomy—Election of Dr. Gibson to the Chair of Surgery—Dr. Horner appointed Adjunct Professor of Anatomy
  • Degrees in Pharmacy—Foundation of six studentships in the Medical Department—Appointment of Dr. Dewees Adjunct Professor of Obstetrics and the Diseases of Women and Children—Settlement of the ad eundem footing of other Schools of Medicine—Application for the transfer of the Botanical Professorship to the Medical Faculty—Appointment of Dr. Samuel Jackson as an Assistant to the Professor of Practice, &c., to teach the Institutes of Medicine—Resignation of Dr. Physick; sketch of his life and services—Election of Dr. Horner to the Chair of Anatomy
  • Resignation of Dr. James—Sketch of his life—Dr. Dewees elected Professor of Obstetrics—Retirement of Dr. Coxe from the Chair of Materia Medica—Sketch of his life—Restitution of the Chair of Institutes—Election of Dr. Jackson to it—Election of Dr. Wood to the Professorship of Materia Medica and Pharmacy—Resignation of Dr. Dewees and election of Dr. Hodge—Sketch of the life of Dr. Dewees—Faculty as organized in 1835
  • Resignation of Dr. Hare—Sketch of his life—Election of Dr. James B. Rogers to the Chair of Chemistry—Change in the lecture term—Resignation of Dr. Chapman—Sketch of his life—Election of Dr. Wood to the Chair of Practice, and of Dr. Carson to that of Materia Medica and Pharmacy
  • Death of Dr. James B. Rogers—Sketch of his life—Election of Dr. Robert E. Rogers to the Chair of Chemistry—Death of Dr. Horner—Sketch of his life—Election of Dr. Leidy to the Chair of Anatomy—Resignation of Dr. Gibson, Sketch of his Life—Election of Dr. Henry H. Smith to the Professorship of Surgery—Resignation of Dr. Wood—Election of Dr. Pepper to the Chair of Practice—Resignation of Dr. Jackson and of Dr. Hodge—Election of Dr. F. G. Smith to the Chair of Institutes, and of Dr. Penrose to that of Obstetrics—Resignation of Dr. Pepper and his decease—Sketch of his life—Election of Dr. A. Stillé to the Chair of Practice—Supplementary Course of Lectures
  • Clinical Instruction
  • University Buildings and accommodations for the delivery of the lectures

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.