Hello and welcome to a Virtual Walkthrough of the physical exhibit “History of Teaching Medicine at Emory University” located at the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library. Due to Covid-19 we’re doing a virtual walk-through of our current exhibit. We’ll be looking at the exhibit case by case, continuing with Case 2 this week.
Origins of Teaching Medicine at Emory Part 2, Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons
By 1892 the differences between the Atlanta Medical College and Southern Medical College were gradually resolving. Both college were neighbors with newly built Grady Memorial Hospital, and by 1898 the colleges merged to form the Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons. This marked a significant advancement in medical education in Atlanta; new laboratories were built, the curriculum was expanded, professors became salaried and full-time, and the faculty instituted a system of advisors and committees.
Over the years however, increased standards put in place by the American Medical Association made it extremely difficult to obtain high ratings necessary for a medical college to grow.As a result, the Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons began negotiations aimed at a merger with their rival, the Atlanta School of Medicine. The merger took place in 1913 and resulted in the formation of the second Atlanta Medical College.
Back of Case Content
Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons opens (1898)
When the Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons was established, medical teaching was moving away from routine didactic lectures, and any clinical work was limited to hospital experience or paid post-graduate instruction. The ACPS prided itself by having numerous clinical instructions on medicine, surgery, and diseases of women. By 1908, eighteen clinics were held each year in the amphitheater of the ACPS, with topics covering each division of medicine and surgery offered by the college.
William S. Kendrick
Having served as dean of the Atlanta Medical College and Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons, W. S. Kendrick resigned from the ACPS in 1905 over a dispute between the faculty over the appointment of Dr. Edward G. Jones as proctor. In addition to his duties as dean of the Atlanta School of Medicine, he was the Principles and Practice of Medicine professor and was physician to Grady Memorial Hospital, Wesley Memorial Hospital, and McVicar Hospital.
Six days after W. S. Kendrick resigned as dean from the Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons, the resolution was completed for the founding of the Atlanta School of Medicine in 1905. The school emphasized its ability to provide daily bedside instruction for its students, something the Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons could not offer. A rivalry quickly formed between the medical schools, with the Atlanta School of Medicine publicizing their bedside teaching methods to emphasize their teaching advantage over their counterpart.
Published in 1910, the Flexner Report is a study of medical education in the United States and Canada. When Abraham Flexner researched his report, many American medical schools were small “proprietary” trade schools owned by one or more doctors, unaffiliated with a college or university, and run to make a profit. Just in terms of closings and mergers, the Flexner Report had a profound impact on North American medical education. Between 7-22 percent of all medical schools either closed or merged due to the Flexner Report.
With national standards on medical education rising, the Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons and Atlanta School of Medicine merged to become the second Atlanta Medical College, 14 years after its predecessor. Soon after the merger, the American Medical Association began pressuring medical schools to become associated with universities in order to improve the quality of medical education nationwide. Two years after the formation of the second Atlanta Medical College, the board proposed that a new university take over the assets and debts of the college. While in its own initial stages of development and seeking to add medical education to its offerings, Emory University agreed. On June 28, 1915 the Emory University School of Medicine was established.
Looking Closer : Select Items from Case 2
By 1961, the building that housed the Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons needed to be replaced. As the cornerstone of the college was removed, a metal box was revealed behind it.This “time capsule” was brought to medical dean Arthur Richardson and library director Mildred Jordan at Emory. Its contents are housed in the Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons records in the WHSC Library.The cornerstone itself disappeared after the demolition, and was not discovered until 2001 when long time Emory athletics director Clyde “Doc” Partin and his wife discovered “a monolithic piece of granite” lying next to a dumpster on their way to an Emory baseball game. How the cornerstone made its way there remains a mystery. Today, the cornerstone can be found on the plaza outside the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Administration Building (WHSCAB).
Thank you for viewing our virtual tour!
Collections with materials in this exhibit:
J. Willis Hurst papers, 1951-2009
Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons records, 1846-1913
Francis Marion Jones papers, 1885-1887
Emory University School of Medicine records, 1916-2018