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January 14, 1983

The Harvard Medical Unit at Boston City Hospital, vol 1: History of the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory and the Harvard Medical Services From Their Founding Until 1974

Author Affiliations

Morris Fishbein Center University of Chicago

JAMA. 1983;249(2):283. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330260089052

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The Thorndyke Memorial Laboratory was created by a special endowment to the Boston City Hospital, and the Laboratory, together with the Harvard clinical services, was directed by Harvard Medical School faculty. The unit comprised a world-famous research and training center. Under the direction of such men as George Minot, William Castle, Maxwell Finland, and Charles Davidson, many hundreds of physicians were trained. The output of published research was vast. In the course of half a century there emerged from that unit a high percentage of the nation's medical leaders.

This book is the story of an epoch. Although Dr Finland carried the major responsibility for the writing, there is multiple authorship. For those who had been associated in any way with the Thorndyke, the book is an admirable account of what had happened. Much of the text is a formalized story that provides the factual background, with a "who did