240.0 linear feet.
Hahnemann University's long history began in 1848 with the founding of the Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania. Over the years, the institution evolved in many ways, eventually becoming Hahnemann University and, later, the Drexel University College of Medicine. In the mid- to late-twentieth century, with the decline of homeopathy, Hahnemann re-invented itself as a nationally known academic medical center with prominence in cardiac surgery and cardiology, oncology, transplantation, training of non-physician health professionals, community health, and community mental health. This expertise led to many firsts for Hahnemann, including international advances in cardiac surgery. The Hahnemann University Academic Affairs records house the files of Hahnemann University and date from 1848 to 2009. The collection consists of annual and accreditation reports; minutes, memoranda, and correspondence from various committees, councils, and departments; records of student life and research; departmental research and publications; curriculum development and teaching materials; and other records created as a result of medical school governance. This collection thoroughly evidences the challenges, mission, accomplishments, and changes of a long-standing medical education program. While similar medical school records likely exist elsewhere, this collection provides a unique perspective on a school rooted in alternative medicine that evolved to remain prominent in the ever-shifting realms of medical education, research, and practice.
Hahnemann University's long history begins in 1848 with the founding of the Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania by Drs. Jacob Jeanes, Walter Williamson, and Constantine Hering. The college began in rented rooms at the rear of a pharmacy in the 200 block of Arch Street with just 15 students and 8 instructors, but grew quickly, moving to a new location the following year at 11th and Filbert Streets. A split in the college came in 1867 when Dr. Hering resigned after a disagreement with Dr. Adolphe Lippe. Hering and a group of physicians purchased the charter for the Washington Medical College, a defunct medical school in Philadelphia. They quickly changed its name to Hahnemann Medical College, in honor of Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician and pioneer of homeopathic medicine, and elected Hering as Dean. However, in 1869 the two colleges merged back together under the new name, Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia. Hahnemann and a neighboring hospital merged in 1884, forming the Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital of Philadelphia. Then, in 1890, a new hospital unit and the School of Nursing opened. Significant advancements from this time include the addition of one of the finest surgical amphitheatres in the country, and the award winning dissection of a complete human nervous system, commonly known as "Harriet," by Dr. Rufus Weaver. Further advancements and accomplishments for Hahnemann include the first school of X-ray technology in the country (1921), a new 20-story hospital (1928), the first recording of human heart sounds (1939), the world's first successful closed-heart surgical repair of mitral valve stenosis (1948) by Dr. Charles P. Baily, and the development of the country's first cross-disciplinary Cardiovascular Institute under the direction of Dr. William Likoff. In the middle and later twentieth century, with the decline of homeopathy, Hahnemann re-invented itself as a nationally known academic medical center with prominence in cardiac surgery and cardiology, oncology, transplantation, training of non-physician health professionals, community health, and community mental health. The Graduate School of the Basic Medical Sciences was organized in 1949, leading to the first PhD granted in 1956. A symposia program began in 1958 that grew to include multiple faculty presentations each year, eventually leading to a continuing education program, and later, the School of Continuing Education (1972). This period also saw growth of affiliate programs, residency programs, faculty appointments, and a focus on research and increased research facilities with a marked effort on educating academically deprived or otherwise disadvantaged students. A new building for the School of Nursing (1963), the New College Building (1973), and the North Tower (1979) added lecture, teaching, medical practice, operating, and research space to the College. The College of Allied Health Professions was formed in 1968, with two- and four-year programs offered in nine different fields. In 1981, Hahnemann gained university status and became Hahnemann University, with four fully accredited schools: the School of Medicine, the Graduate School, the School of Allied Health Professions, and the School of Continuing Education. Running almost in parallel, the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania (1850-1867) was the world's first medical school for women. This became Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1867 and then Medical College of Pennsylvania (MCP) in 1970 when male students began to be accepted. In 1987, MCP and its affiliate hospitals were acquired by the Allegheny Health, Education, and Research Foundation (AHERF). And in 1993, AHERF acquired Hahnemann University and its affiliated hospital. Hahnemann University and MCP were fully merged in 1996 to form MCP Hahnemann School of Medicine of Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, the largest private medical school in the country. However, just a few years later in 1998, AHERF declared bankruptcy. The assets of Allegheny University were transferred to the nonprofit MCP Hahnemann University, with Drexel University agreeing to assume operation of the university. In 2002, the Drexel University board of trustees voted unanimously in favor of merging MCP Hahnemann University into Drexel, renaming the school as the Drexel University College of Medicine. Sources consulted: "History." Drexel University College of Medicine. Accessed April 16, 2014. http://www.drexelmed.edu/Home/AbouttheCollege/History.aspx "History of the Institution." Drexel University College of Medicine: Legacy Center Archives and Special Collections. Accessed on April 16, 2014. http://archives.drexelmed.edu/history.php Rogers, Naomi. An Alternative Path: The Making and Remaking of Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital of Philadelphia. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1998. Schwartz, Lynne, ed. "From Yesterday to Today: 133 Proud Years of Passage" The World of Hahnemann 7, no. 6 (November/December 1981). Wells, George Harlan. "A History of the Department of Medicine at the Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital of Philadelphia." June 1965.
This collection is open for research use.
Hahnemann University Academic Affairs records, 1848-2009, Drexel University College of Medicine, Legacy Center: Archives and Special Collections.
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