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December 13, 1965

President's Address to the House of Delegates

JAMA. 1965;194(11):1216-1219. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090240050013

In 1765 a handful of physicians in this city of 25,000 residents had an idea—a dream of training new physicians in a school of medicine. Their purpose was simple and direct: to have a continuing supply of trained physicians who could provide quality medical care.

So, 200 years ago formal medical education in America began with the establishment of the College of Philadelphia—later to become the University of Pennsylvania. And three years later, in 1768, the first ten new physicians were graduated. Later, in this city of Philadelphia a group of 56 men, including five physicians, gathered in 1776. They too had an idea— a dream of freeing their country from tyranny, of declaring their country independent, and of unifying their countrymen. They too succeeded, for a new nation soon was to be established. Their purpose also was simple and direct: to establish a new government which would insure the

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