The Yale School of Medicine in the Twentieth Century †

Abstract

An anniversary is an occasion for rejoicing and reminiscence. It is also an occasion for taking a hard look at where one stands and for facing up to the challenges of the future. These are the assignments my colleagues and I have set for ourselves. The history of the Yale School of Medicine over the first century, after a charter was granted to the Medical Institution of Yale College by the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut on 28 October 1810, precisely 150 years ago today, differed from that of many medical schools founded in the early part of the nineteenth century. Adoption by an established liberal arts college gave the School stability and resources which many of those created over the following 50 years never attained. It was the first step in the fulfillment of Ezra Stiles' dream of Yale as a great university. Furthermore, it had the unusual advantage of being founded with the blessing of the local medical community, as its charter was granted jointly to the College and the Connecticut State Medical Society. Thus, it escaped the struggles for control and satisfaction of personal ambitions which characterized the early history of many schools founded as proprietary institutions. The progress of the Medical Institution of Yale College and, after 1887 the School of Medicine of Yale University, during the first hundred years will be reviewed by other speakers and recorded in a volume to be published within the year. Let me pick it up in 1910 when George Blumer, a physician with national reputation and a clear vision of the University's future role in medical education, was appointed professor of medicine and dean. The fortunes of the School were, at that moment, at a low ebb. This was the beginning of the renaissance of medical education in the United States. Under the leadership of William Henry Welch, a graduate of Yale College in 1870, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine was setting a new pace; other leading schools had responded to the challenge, but Yale was lagging behind. Poorly supported by the University, morally and financially, a school which had stood among the best in its early days was losing ground rapidly. The

Cite this paper

@article{Lippard1960TheYS, title={The Yale School of Medicine in the Twentieth Century †}, author={Vernon W. Lippard}, journal={The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine}, year={1960}, volume={33}, pages={184 - 192} }