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July 17, 1987

Philadelphia General Hospital

Author Affiliations

Coral Gables, Fla

Coral Gables, Fla

JAMA. 1987;258(3):327. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400030043028

To the Editor.—  Your recent article entitled "Demise of Philadelphia General an Instructive Case; Other Cities Treat Public Hospital Ills Differently"1 evoked many fond memories of a hospital that ill deserved to pass into oblivion. It began in the first half of the 18th century as an almshouse that evolved into a hospital. Its identification as the oldest hospital in the country was challenged by its neighbor a few miles away, the Pennsylvania Hospital, which was deemed a hospital at its inception.The legendary Dr William Osier served on the Philadelphia General staff early in his career. His role there was memorialized by a painting commissioned by one of the pharmaceutical houses that depicted Osier in the Autopsy Building, which later became a museum honoring him.Interns were attracted from all over the country and were selected on a competitive basis by a written and oral examination. During my