Two Hundred Years of Medical Education at Yale

8 June 2011 - 9:59am by Lynn Sette

On October 28, 1810, the Connecticut Legislature approved a charter to create a medical school at Yale.  The Medical Institution of Yale College, now Yale University School of Medicine, was the sixth medical school in the United States.  From a single rented building with five faculty members and no hospital in the state of Connecticut, the Yale School of Medicine, in association with Yale-New Haven Hospital, has grown to become a world-famous center for teaching, research, and clinical practice.

It was only in the twentieth century, after affiliation with the New Haven Hospital, the forming of departments, and the full-time system, that Yale became a leader in biomedical research and clinical care. However, the mission to educate medical students goes back to the beginning of the school’s history.  This final Bicentennial exhibit focuses on the Medical School’s teaching mission over the past 200 years.

The roughly chronological exhibit has two parts. Part I in the Medical Library rotunda traces the fundamental changes in medical education from an eight-month supplement to apprenticeship  in 1813 to the establishment of the Yale System of Medical Education in 1925-1931.  Part II, from the 1930s to the present, is located in the lobby outside the Library.  The exhibit is supplemented by original historical photographs and engravings in the hallway of the Library.  All materials on display, unless otherwise noted, are from the Historical Library.  “200 Years of Medical Education” is curated by Toby A. Appel, former John R. Bumstead Librarian for Medical History.

The exhibit goes to September 11. It is in the Medical Library rotunda, hallway, and lobby.