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  Atlanta Medical College, the earliest forerunner of Emory University School of Medicine, wasfounded by the Georgia General Assembly, John G. Westmoreland, the first dean, pioneered research in yellow fever. He also helped found the Atlanta Medical & Surgical Journal and Atlanta’s first medical society, the latter to establish a local medical code of ethics. Atlanta Medical College charged $105 tuition for its first four-month session plus matriculation, dissecting,and diploma fees. This school would split and merge twice during its first six decades before affiliating with Emory in 1915.
  Atlanda Medical College was represented for the first time at a meeting of the American Medical Association, held in Nashville.  
  After the Civil War began on April 12, the college suspended lectures on July 3. The last faculty meeting was on August 6, with the minutes stopping in mid-sentence. The minutes picked up again four years later, on August 16, after the war was over. The college’s building had been damaged by shellfire during the war, and its furnishings and equipment were destroyed.  
  The city council donated $5,000 in city bonds to repair and refurnish the college’s building. A disagreement among faculty as to how this money would be used was a contributing factor leading to the creation of a rival school in 1878.  
  Jesse Boring, a former trustee of Emory College, became dean of Atlanta Medical College. The next year, faculty asked trustees to give the city council space on the school’s lot to build a hospital. No hospital was forthcoming yet, but the city did sand the sidewalks leading to the schools building.  
  D.C. O’Keefe became dean but died a few months later. The school’s first dean, John Westmoreland, became dean pro tem, serving till 1874.  
  V.H. Taliaferro became dean.  
  J.T. Johnson became dean, introducing special clinics for eye and ear work, diseases of women, and veneral diseases, in addition to the regular medical and surgical clinics.  

  A former member of the faculty of Atlanta Medical College, Thomas Powell, founded a rival school, the Southern Medical College.  
  Atlanta Medical College extended the length of its term from 16 weeks to 20 weeks.  

  H.V.M. Miller became dean. The school graduated 48 students in March, the largest class since the Civil War.  
  John Westmoreland retired after having served as dean twice and also as treasurer and professor of materia medica and therapeutics.

Grady Memorial Hospital (right) opened to serve indigent patients on a site chosen for its proximity to Atlanta Medical College.

Also in 1892, Southern Medical College erected a building next door to its rival, Atlanta Medical College. These two schools merged under a new name in 1898.
  Atlanta Medical College installed a telephone in its building. The system of each professor issuing a ticket for admission to his course was abolished. Degree requirements changed from two courses of lectures to three courses of six months each.  

  W.S. Kendrick became dean, after having served as proctor and secretary since 1887. The school had flourished under his administrative leadership. He reported in 1892 that enrollment and revenues had risen to 171 and $16,500, respectively, compared with 117 and $7,000 in 1887.  
  W.S. Kendrick from Atlanta Medical College and W.S. Elkin from Southern Medical College agreed to consolidate their schools, forming Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons, with Kendrick as dean.  

  W.S. Kendrick relied heavily on his proctor for administrative duties and left when faculty relieved the incumbent proctor of his duties. Kendrick left to form Atlanta School of Medicine, which existed till 1913, and W.S. Elkin became dean of Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons.  
  The original building of the Atlanta Medical College (which now called itself Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons) was razed and a new building erected on the same site. After this building too was razed years later, Emory’s new clinical training and faculty building was erected on this same corner.  

  Rivalry between Atlanta Medical College and Atlanta School of Medicine was fierce, with the latter publicizing enhanced teaching methods, including use of drawings to teach anatomy and emphasis on bedside learning.

This same year, a young Robert W. Woodruff attended Emory College but left before his first term was completed. He would later become Emory’s most generous benefactor.

  Enrollment at Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons originally had declined when the competing Atlanta School of Medicine was created, but the 1909-1910 session,with a student body of 334, surpassed any previous one.

Meanwhile this same year, Abraham Flexner, commissioned by the Carnegie Foundation, published a scathing critique of medical schools across the country,recommending that proprietary medical schools either align themselves with a university or get out of the business of teaching medicine.

  Stewart Roberts, a prolific writer on a variety of topics, wrote a book on pellegra, long before it was recognized as a deficiency disease. Originally on the faculty of AtlantaSchool of Medicine, he was later a leader at Emory, and his son later served on the faculty. Roberts eventually served as president of the American Health Association and the Southern Medical Associatrion, and he was active in medical alumni affairs.  
  The Flexner Report, combined with pressure from the American Medical Association and Association of American Medical Colleges, convinced the Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons and Atlanta School of Medicine to consolidate. They reprised the original name from 1854 of Atlanta Medical College. W.S. Elkin was dean and would continue in this role for 10 more years after the college transferred its holdings to Emory University in 1915.  
  The Real Thing: Coca-Cola founder Asa Candler donated land and $1 million to establish Emory University in Atlanta. Accordingly, its forebear school, Emory College, was moved to Atlanta from Oxford, Georgia. Emory University School of Medicine was formed this same year when Atlanta Medical College transferred its holdings to the university, which pledged $250,000 to endow the medical school.  

  When the United States entered WWI, Lt. Col. Edward C. Davis, who had originally been on the faculty of Atlanta School of Medicine, conceived of and organized the Emory Unit, known as Base Hospital 43, composed mainly of medical school faculty and medical alumni.

Cyrus Strickler Sr. served as chief of medicine in the unit, specializing in treatment of victims of war gas. He devoted much of his career to Emory without payment.

This same year, the Scott and Fishburne labs (anatomy and physiology buildings) opened on Emory’s campus, and the medical school moved its first- and second- year students from Grady to Emory.

  Frank Boland, who had originally been on the faculty of Atlanta School of Medicine and who had been a member of the Emory Unit in WWI, was chosen as the first president of Emory’s Medical Alumni Association.

This same year, Emory physicians were given charge over Grady’s hospital for African-American patients, located in the medical school building across the street from Grady.
  Wesley Memorial Hospital was dedicated on its new Emory campus site and changed its name to Emory University Hospital in 1932.  
  F. Phinizy Calhoun Sr gave the medical school $10,000 to establish a medical library named for his father A.W. Calhoun, who had served on the faculty of Atlanta Medical College.  
  This same year, Homer “Butch” Blincoe began a 21-year “reign of terror” as chair of anatomy. His intolerance of lack of masatery of his subject was legendary among the students. One former student said that when he was in a foxhole during WWII, he took comfort in the fact that at least it wasn’t Blincoe’s anatomy class.  
  Russell Oppenheimer became dean and served till 1945. He was referred to as the “one-man medical school” because he had so many administrative roles (dean, professor, administrative chair of Department of Medicine, superintendent and medical director of Emory Hospital.)  
  Timeline continued on A Marriage Made in Atlanta  
A century and a half has passed since Emory School of Medicine came into being. That period has seen a civil war divide a nation and two world wars shatter the globe. It has borne witness to the eradication of smallpox and the discovery of antibiotics. Along with miraculous advances in science and technology, those years have ushered in new diseases that call for further advances to push forward the medical fontier. At its sesquicentennial, Emory School of Medicine has emerged from its beginnings as a amall, struggling program to a place as one of the top medical centers in the country. This timeline marks the events, people and milestones that for 150 years have shaped Emory’s growth. It celebrates momentous strides in heart and eye disease, Parkinson’s/movement disorders,sickles cell, stroke, infectious disease, transplantations, diabetes, and bioengineering. It commemorates faculty who have trained thousands of doctors, who in turn have treated hundreds of thousands of patients. It shows that 150 years is not so lond a time after all. Time flies when you’re having fun.

THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE IN THE FIRST PART OF THE 19TH CENTURY in the United States was called heroic because of the heroic measures usually prescribed. These were based on three principles: bloodletting, blisters, and purgation. Such practices led to frequent resort to quacks and self-remedies and resulted in the development of various “schools” reflecting the fads and teh fancies of that day. Standards in medical education were equally deplorable. Selection of faculties was casual. Requirements for admission were minimal, and those for graduation varied considerably from school to school. By the middle of the century, the general pattern was to require attendance at short sessions of lectures and three years of reading with a practictioner. Indeed, many physicians practiced without any formal training other than an apprenticeship. In all but a few states, proper legislation providing for dissection was lacking, leading to widespread gave robbery. Another serious problem was lack of adequate facilities for clinical instruction, and even when such were available, attendance was haphazard.

On the approval of a charter for Atlanta Medical College by the Georgia legistlature on February 14, 1854, a group of Atlanta physicians joined together to launch the school. One of the first tasks was to petition the city council for use of a city and country building then under contsrtuction for a planned fourmonth teaching session. Another job was to advertise for professors to fill eight chairs. On June 15, 1854, the Board of Trustees of Atlanta Medical College met to select the men for these positions.
      The first faculty meeting was held on January 31, 1855, to prepare for the first session, which opened in May. Classes were held in the new city-county hall, located where the Georgia State Capitol now stands. Dean John Westmoreland, who had moved to Atlanta in 1853, signed the minutes of that first faculty meeting, in which he requested “to solicit subsciptions for building and furnishing College Edifice.” Willis Westmoreland, John’s younger brother and a surgery professor, and J.E. DuBose, the physiology professor, were given the task to obtain “a house for dissecting.”
     The opening of the school was attended by a considerable struggle. The first issue of the Atlanta Medical and Surgical Journal—founded by the Westmorelands-stated that the institution opened under the most unfavorable circumstances. The financial situation was bad—the worst, in fact, since 1838. The distribution of announcements was delayed until less than four months before the opening of the session. Various reports “derogatory to our interest” circulated, no doubt fueled by jealousy on the part of those interested in other medical schools in the state. At that time, at least three other medical colleges operated in the state, and as in other parts of the nation, there was keen competition for students and tuition fees.
        Still, the administration of the Atlanta Medical College prevailed against the odds. In that first year, the school included eight departments: anatomy, medicine, surgery, obstetrics and diseases of women and children, physiology, surgical and pathological anatomy,chemistry, and materia medica. John Westmoreland was not only dean and treasurer but also professor of materia medica and therapeutics, a capacity in which he served until his retirement from the college in 1881.
     By June 21, 1854, the cornerstone for a new college building was laid at the corner of Butler and Armstrong Streets. To relieve the college of the debt of the $15,000 incurred for construction, the dean ran for election to the state legislature and served as representative from Fulton County in 1857–1858. He eventually succeeded in sponsoring legislation to appropriate $15,000 to Atlanta Medical College, and in this way, he paid the pressing debt. In return, the school agreed to educate without charge, one student from each congressional district in Georgia.
     The end of the first course of lectures was completed on August 27,1855, followed by three days of examination. Commencement exercises followed on September 1. Of the 78 students enrolled for that year, 32 were graduated, including one from Alabama, one from Tennessee, and all others from Georgia. Admission to examinations for the degree required the candidate to be 21 years of age and of good moral character.
     In 1858, the college took steps toward improving what was minimal clinical instruction: one medical and one surgical clinic were scheduled each week throughout the teaching session, in addition to lectures by faculty in these departments. The school also announced a preparatory or winter course to better prepare students for the regular summer session. The fee of $50 for the winter session was to be deducted from the fees of the regular course. In 1858 a further effort was made towards improvement of practical instruction when the two Westmoreland brothers were asked to “report a suitable place for a teaching hospital.” By 1860 the number of clinics for students was increased to three surgical and three medical each week, in addition to experience in the dispensary. Students representing 10 states attended the sixth series of lectures that summer.  

Georgia seceded from the Union in January 1861. That year, classes at Atlanta Medical College started as scheduled on May 6, but the session was cut short and the school closed on July 23. The faculty minutes from August 6, 1861, ended abruptly, mid-sentence.
      Not until the fall of 1865 would classes resume. During the war, the faculty scattered. The college building served as a hospital, and only the clever ruse of Dr. D’Alvigny saved it from being burned as General Sherman had ordered.
     The story unfolds like this. The Federal officer in charge had given orders to remove the wounded from the hospital in preparation for its destruction. On the eve of the scheduled burning, D’Alvigny formed a plan. He plied the hospital attendants with whiskey, placed them in an upstairs room, and instructed them on how to act. Then he approached the Union officer in charge, complaining bitterly that wounded men were to be burned without being given a chance for escape. The Union officer denied the charge, of course, but D’Alvigny led him to the upper room where men were groaning in great distress and begging for help. The officer gave D’Alvigny until daylight to have the men removed. By that time, however, the Union army had begun its march to the sea, and the building of the Atlanta Medical College was saved.
     Peace came officially in April 1865, and fighting in Georgia ceased by May. While the need for doctors was great, few among the poverty-stricken students could afford to spend time in medical school. Late in the year, smallpox struck the city, reaching epidemic proportions by January of 1866. Soon cholera, which was sweeping the nation, added to Atlanta’s woes, and to make matters worse, the winter of 1865 to 1866 was unusually severe. By the summer of 1865 the faculty of Atlanta’s medical school had met to discuss reopening the school, and they agreed to treat the indigent sick free of charge. However, the city council refused their offer because the poor feared the professors wanted their bodies for dissection.
     In the fall of 1865, military authorities returned half of the school building to the medical faculty. The structure was somehow fitted up for the special session, which opened on November 6 with 40 students in attendance.

Soon after he was hired in 1857 as professor of obstetrics, Thomas S. Powell sought to change certain business practices of the college. Westmoreland, who handled financial affairs, did not take well to such efforts from a man who had just joined the faculty. In 1858 the Dean and the majority of the faculty sponsored an amendment to the charter which gave unlimited powers to the faculty and curtailed the power of the trustees. Eight years later, when Powell’s connection with the college was severed against his will, this amendment led to a serious conflict, resulting in what historian Henry Bullock calls the college’s “first dissension-born child.”
     In March of 1866, through the efforts of Powell, the city council donated $5,000 in bonds to Atlanta Medical College for use in repairing and refurnishing. Without delay, Dean Westmoreland saw to repairs. He then distributed the balance of funds among various departments at a special faculty meeting at which Powell, for reasons not explained, was absent. A few days later, Powell objected, arguing that he was to receive sufficient amounts to purchase instruments for treating charity patients.
     He also criticized Westmoreland’s report of expenditures. Arguments continued in subsequent faculty meetings and grew to serious proportions. Most of the faculty supported the dean, whereupon Powell took his grievances to the Board of Trustees. The faculty resolved to request Powell’s resignation on August 31, 1866.
     Relations between Atlanta Medical College and its board became strained, although four of the 10-member board sided with the faculty. The “want of harmony” with the faculty grew and reached the courts. The issue became an 1858 amendment to the charter, and all the trustees were now aware of the implications in giving the faculty power to hire and fire colleagues. Faculty countered efforts to repeal the amend-ment in a letter to both houses of the state legislature in 1866. The dissident trustees sought an injunction to prevent the college from continuing to exercise the authority granted to the faculty by the 1858 act. The back-and-forth actions continued. Politicians, the state medical association, even the press got involved. It wasn’t until the end of 1871 that the controversy was resolved.
     Even then Powell did not rest. He and his friends petitioned for a charter to open a new medical school in Atlanta, and before the decade was over, Southern Medical College began classes. For nearly 20 years the two rivals functioned separately. As the 19th century neared its end, the two consolidated as Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1898.
Diploma mill medical schools were flourishing when the American Medical College Association organized in 1876. The organization, later called the Association of American Medical Colleges, enlisted medical schools in the fight for standards and initially pushed for a required minimum of three years of training. By 1899, the standards rose to a four-year course of study with a corresponding increase in standards of medical licensure at the state level.
     Reforms at the Atlanta Medical College were keeping pace with the national movement. Through the 1870s, the deans and faculty of the Atlanta Medical College sought to improve clinical teaching.
     The lack of an adequate teaching hospital remained a serious problem. In his report to the trustees for the 1875–1876 session, Valentine Taliaferro referred to the limited hospital accommodations in the clinic, which was operated at faculty expense and where the poor of the city were treated for free. Soon proposals were floated to treat all charity patients in the city for 50 cents a day in the building provided by the college, but what the city really needed was a hospital.
      Faculty income still depended largely on individual practice. The school sometimes had to borrow to meet expenses, and prizes for graduating students came from individual professors. Perhaps this accounted for the fines levied on faculty who missed meetings.
     In 1880, Dean H.V.M. Miller established the office of proctor at the Atlanta Medical College “at a salary equal to that of each faculty member.” In a sense, the proctor served in a role as business manager/registrar/student dean. One of the school’s most successful proctors was William Scott Kendrick, who brought the school to “a sound financial condition” in 1892. Upon the death of Dean Miller, Kendrick was elected not only as dean but also as professor of the principles and practice of clinical medicine.
     Atlanta Medical College was represented in the fall of 1892 at a meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, to form a Southern Medical College Association with the purpose of upgrading medical education. The medical school representatives approved two reforms: the completion of the first year of high school for admission and a common, three-year curriculum with six months per year and including dissection and hospital or clinical instruction.
     The 1895–96 year saw several events, including implementation of a new curriculum. In September, the faculty decided that the time had come for installing a telephone in the college building. The system of each professor issuing a ticket for admission to his course was abolished. Henceforth, the proctor was to issue one card to each student for all courses in a given term. In the following spring, the matricula-tion and dissection fees were abolished, and a single charge of $100 per term covered all fees except that for diploma at the time of graduation.
     The old guard among the faculty, so to speak, were dying and the approach of a new day for Atlanta Medical College was not far off.

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