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October 15, 1960

An Experiment in Medicine: The First Twenty Years of the Pratt Clinic and the New England Center Hospital of Boston

JAMA. 1960;174(7):916-917. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030070094031

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One may ask how a successful hospital center might have its beginning. A good formula for this may be the friendship of a wealthy bachelor from Maine and a doctor interested in group therapy. Such is the story of the Pratt Clinic—New England Center Hospital, a unit of the New England Medical Center, Boston, which, in addition, is comprised of the Tufts University School of Medicine, the Boston Dispensary, and the Boston Floating Hospital.

In 1911, William Bingham, II, after moving to Bethel, Me., became a close friend of Dr. John G. Gehring. Bingham took an interest in Gehring's psychotherapeutic experiments, and one of his first philanthropies was the building of Bethel Inn so that Gehring's patients would have a place to stay. In 1931, Gehring sought relief for his angina from Dr. Joseph Hersey Pratt, physician-in-chief of the dispensary. Dr. Pratt found in Gehring a listener who was sympathetic

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