Thomas Jefferson University

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Thomas Jefferson University is a private health sciences university in Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States. The university consists of four constituent colleges, Jefferson Medical College, Jefferson College of Graduate Studies, and Jefferson College of Health Professions, and Jefferson School of Population Health. In 2009, the medical college (JMC) was ranked #59 among the nation's medical schools by U.S. News & World Report.



Jefferson Medical College

During the early 19th century, several attempts to create a second medical school in Philadelphia had been stymied, largely due to the efforts of University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine alumni[3] In an attempt to circumvent that opposition, a group of Philadelphia physicians led by Dr. George McClellan sent a letter to the trustees of Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania (now Washington & Jefferson College) in 1824, asking the College to establish a medical department in Philadelphia.[4] The trustees agreed, establishing the Medical Department of Jefferson College in Philadelphia.[4] In spite of a vigorous challenge, the Pennsylvania General Assembly granted an expansion of Jefferson College's charter in 1826, endorsing the creation of the new department and allowing it to grant medical degrees.[4][5] An additional 10 Jefferson College trustees were appointed to supervise the new facility from Philadelphia, owing to the difficulty of managing a medical department on the other side of the state.[4] Two years later, this second board was granted authority to manage the Medical Department, while the Jefferson College trustees maintained veto power for major decisions.[4]

The first class was graduated in 1826, receiving their degrees only after the disposition of a lawsuit seeking to close the school.[4] The first classes were held in the Tivola Theater on Prune Street in Philadelphia, which had the first medical clinic attached to a medical school.[6] Owing to the teaching philosophy of Dr. McClellan, classes focused on clinical practice.[6] In 1828, the Medical Department moved to the Ely Building, which allowed for a large lecture space and the "Pit," a 700-seat amphitheater to allow students to view surgeries.[6] This building had an attached hospital, the second such medical school/hospital arrangement in the nation, servicing 441 inpatients and 4,659 outpatients in its first year of operation.[6] The relationship with Jefferson College survived until 1838, when the Medical Department received a separate charter, allowing it operate separately as the Jefferson Medical College.[5][7]

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