July 1985

A History of the Rankin Clinical Research Unit of Duke University Medical Center

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine (Dr Pritchett) and Surgery (Dr Anlyan), Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(7):1244-1248. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360070122020

The appearance of specialized research hospital wards was an important innovation in American medicine in the early 20th century. Before that time, faculty members commonly maintained offices for private practice and supported themselves with the income from this practice. Remuneration for teaching and research was meager. With the establishment of full-time faculties around the turn of the century, physician time was more concentrated in the medical school hospitals. The first dedicated research ward was an entire hospital, the Hospital of the Rockefeller Institute, New York, which opened in 1908. Rufus Cole came from the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, to be its first director. Dr Cole was interested in lobar pneumonia, and the Hospital of the Rockefeller Institute developed a strong theme of microbiology in its early years. Similarly, Eugene Dubois founded a research ward at Bellevue Hospital, New York, in 1913. In 1925 James Howard Means opened Ward 4 of

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