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October 22, 1960


JAMA. 1960;174(8):982-983. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030080044008

The first "state" medical society in the colonies had its inception at Mr. Duff's Tavern in New Brunswick, N. J., on July 23, 1766. Seventeen physicians assembled on that day in response to a newspaper notice, "to form a Society for their mutual improvement, the advancement of the profession and promotion of the public good." Dr. Robert McKean (1732-1767), clergyman and physician, was elected president of the organization at its first meeting. McKean was the first to sign the "Instruments of Associations and Constitutions," as well as "The Tables of Fees and Rates" for medical and surgical charges. These references to the professional life and other activities of the pioneer McKean are described in a little volume assembled by Fred B. Rogers entitled Help-Bringers: Versatile Physicians of New Jersey.1 Rogers describes a decisive dozen doctors, each a notable individual and contributor to the essence and events of early times

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