Saturday, October 31, 2009

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine 1840-1841

The University of Pennsylvania is the oldest and one of the finest medical schools in the United States. Penn is rich in tradition and heritage and at the same time consistently at the forefront of new developments and innovations in medical education and research. Since its founding in 1765 the School has been a strong presence in the community and prides itself on educating the leaders of tomorrow in patient care, biomedical research, and medical education.

Included in the 1840-1841 University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine class were eight students from Caswell County, North Carolina.


Name County State
Anderson, John Q. Caswell, North Carolina.
Collins, Allen T. Caswell, North Carolina.
Currie, Shelby S. Caswell, North Carolina.
Price, James A. Caswell, North Carolina.
Walker, James C. Caswell, North Carolina.
Watt, William M. Caswell, North Carolina.
Wright, Weldon E. Caswell, North Carolina.
Yancey, Albert G. Yanceyville, North Carolina.

THE Medical Department is under the immediate government of the Medical Professors, who constitute the Faculty of Medicine, subject to the rules and statutes of the Board of Trustees. It includes:

A Professorship of ANATOMY,
A Professorship Of CHEMISTRY,
A Professorship of SURGERY,
A Professorship of the INSTITUTES OF MEDICINE.

The Medical Faculty hold meetings for the purpose of arranging and conducting the business of their department, and establishing proper rules and regulations for the preservation of order and decorum among the medical students. They appoint one of their own members to act as Dean, whose duty it is to keep the Minutes of the Faculty, to arrange the business of examining the candidates for medical degrees, to conduct the business of the Faculty at their meetings, and to attend to correspondence. The Session for the Medical Lectures begins annually on the first Monday of November, and ends in March.

The Commencement for conferring Medical Degrees is held by a special mandamus of the Board of Trustees, early in April, and within as short a time as possible after the examinations of candidates are over.

The following are the regulations at present in force in relation to the degree of Doctor of Medicine.

1. Every candidate for this degree must have attained the age of twenty-one years, have applied himself to the study of Medicine for three years, and have been, during that time, the private pupil, for two years at least, of a respectable practitioner of Medicine.

2. The candidate must have attended two complete courses of the following lectures in this Institution:

Practice of Physic and Clinical Medicine,
Materia Medica and Pharmacy,
Obstetrics and the Diseases of Women and Children,
Institutes of Medicine.

3. He must also have attended one course of Clinical Instruction in the Philadelphia Hospital, (Blockley) or the Pennsylvania Hospital, or some other Institution approved of by the Faculty of Medicine.

4. Medical students who have attended one complete course in a respectable Medical School, where the attendance on two complete courses is necessary to a degree, where the same branches are taught as in this, and which is placed upon the ad Eundem
of this school, are permitted to become candidates by attendance here for one full course.

5. When candidates for a Medical Degree apply to the Dean for admission, they must exhibit their tickets to prove that the above regulations have been complied with.

6. Each candidate, at the time of his application, which should be on or before the first day of February, must deliver to the Dean of the Medical Faculty, a Thesis, composed by himself, on some medical subject. This Thesis* is referred to one of the
Professors who shall examine the candidate upon it and must be written uniformly on paper of the same size, the alternate pages being left blank.

10. General bad spelling in a Thesis, or general inattention to the rules of grammar, will preclude a candidate from examination for a degree.

11. A Thesis may be published by the candidate if he desire it, the permission of the Professor by whom he was examined thereon being first obtained; but no alteration shall be made therein without the consent of the Professor.

12. The voting on the case of each candidate is by private ballot, and three negative votes reject him.

13. Each candidate shall pay the fees of graduation, at the time of his examination, or before receiving notice of his success; and before his name can be entered on the Register of passed candidates, for the purpose of being reported to the Board of Trustees and included in the mandamus for a degree.

14. Candidates who have passed their examination, and in other respects complied with the regulations, are to be reported by the Dean to the Provost, who will communicate such report to the Board of Trustees, in order that, if approved of by them, their mandamus be issued for conferring the degree.

15. The degree will not be conferred upon a candidate who absents himself from the public commencement, except by special permission of the Medical Faculty.

16. Graduates of Medical Schools, on the ad Eundem list, by attending one complete course in this Institution, are put upon the same footing with students who have attended two complete courses here.

*The Essay must be written on Thesis paper, which can be procured at the Medical bookstores; this is for the purpose of convenient binding together into volumes.
The following form of the title page is to be observed:

An Essay on Medicine in the University of Pennsylvania, by
(name in full) of Town
Residence in City,
Duration of studies,
Presented (date;
for the Degree of Doctor of
County, State of

Rule of Examinations for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.

The names and essays of the candidates are to be presented to the Dean on or before the first day of February in each year. The candidates are then to be divided, either by their own arrangement or by that of the Dean, into classes of eight persons
each. These classes will be designated numerically and according to lot. The examinations will begin on the last Monday in February or the first Monday in March, and be so conducted as to have the commencement early in April. No person's name will be received on a class unless his essay is in possession of the Dean-neither is his name to be attached to a class by any other than the Dean, except he has signified his desire to that effect.

The classes are to call at the houses of the several Professors, or at some other place designated by the latter; and when in attendance, each of the individuals composing a class is to be examined separately, and in the order of his name on the list of his class.

Each Professor is to keep a list of those examined by him, and opposite to the name of each individual examined is to note the result, so as, on consulting his paper, to be able to vote in the affirmative or negative as to the qualifications for a degree. As the examinations of each group of classes shall be completed, the Faculty is to meet-the names of the candidates examined are to be read by the Dean-and as each name is called off, the Professors are to consult their memoranda, and if no remarks be made, are to proceed to vote by ballot. If there shouldnot be three negative votes, the candidate is to be considered as having passed, and is to be entitled to his degree. Should three black balls be cast against any individual, he is not to be considered as absolutely rejected, but is to have the privilege of another examination before the whole Faculty in general session.

If, upon the name of a candidate being called out, one or more of the Faculty have any remarks to make in relation to his gualifications, they are to be heard before the vote is taken.

At the close of each meeting, the Dean is to make known the result of the ballot, by note, to each of the successful candidates, who is to pay his graduation fees before the note referred to will be delivered by the Janitor.

The candidates in classes being thus disposed of, the Faculty is then to proceed to the examination of those who may have preferred the old plan, and afterwards of those who, having received three negative votes, may still choose to avail themselves
of the opportunity of a final examination offered by the Faculty.

If any candidate who may not have succeeded in the first ballot, shall decline an examination before the Faculty in general session, he is to have the privilege of withdrawing his Thesis, without being considered as rejected.

If a Thesis be found remarkable for any good quality, the fact is to be reported by the Professor possessing it to the Faculty at their meeting, who may take upon it such action as they may deem advisable.