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October 1956

The Natural History of Disease: Frank Billings Memorial Lecture

Author Affiliations

Washington, D. C.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1956;98(4):401-408. doi:10.1001/archinte.1956.00250280003002

Appropriately, we are met today to honor the memory of a great clinician and medical statesman, Frank Billings, in Chicago, where his fine professional stature and eminence were attained. In 1878, a sturdy farm lad from Iowa County, Wisconsin, matriculated in the Chicago Medical College (now North-western University Medical School). Of splendid Anglo-Saxon stock, he was superbly endowed physically and intellectually. Upon completion of a common public school education, young Billings had attended the Platteville (Wisconsin) State Normal School for two years. Thereafter, he taught a country school in the town of Eden. His prompt advancement to the principalship of the Platteville High School was, in retrospect, a true forecast of his driving ambition and capacity.

Upon graduation from the Chicago Medical College, Dr. Billings served an internship in Cook County Hospital, a coveted post for the young physicians of that period. The investment of postgraduate studies in London, Paris,