Medical School

The Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania was founded by Dr. John Morgan and Dr. William Shippen in 1765. As the nation's oldest medical school, the institution was founded to design an official model for future medical institutions. Students throughout the colonies attended lectures focusing on anatomy and 'physicks,' and received bedside teaching at the Pennsylvania Hospital. The overall goal was to establish an institution that would certify their graduates, allowing them to practice medicine and found additional medical universities. 

The trustees of the medical school devoted its marketing strategy to attract students from wealthy Southern families. In 1851, Penn sent lecture advertisements to newspapers across the country, focusing their efforts on southern, slave-holding states. A receipt for the advertisement placed in the North Carolina Star is pictured above. The fact that a majority of med school graduates hailed from the Southern states shows the effectiveness of the marketing strategy. 

Many of the early medical students graduated and went on to shape and certify the racialized medicine, echoes of which can be heard in the medical field today. Read about prominent doctors and the institutions they subsequently founded in the provided links. 

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