Kentucky Medical Education in the 1870s and 1880s

University and Campus in 1899. (From the Courier-Journal, Louisville, Kentucky, 28 May 1899)

Changing Tides of Medical Education in Kentucky



Transylvania University – Medical Department
Lexington, Kentucky

Population of Lexington in the early 1880s: 16,656.

The Medical Department of Transylvania University was established in 1817. Lectures were delivered until 1859, when the institution became extinct. From 1850-1850 lectures were delivered during the summer only, the winter sessions being intermittent to establish the Kentucky School of Medicine, at Louisville.


University of Louisville – Medical Department
Louisville, Kentucky

Population of Louisville in the early 1880s: 123,758

The Medical Department of the University of Louisville was established in 1837. No lectures were delivered between Jun, 1862 to June, 1863, and no class graduated in 1863 because of the Civil War. The faculty included eight professors, two lecturers and five demonstrators.

Course of Instruction

One regular course of twenty-three weeks’ duration, one spring course of twelve weeks’ duration, and one post-graduate (practitioners’) course of six weeks duration, annually. Clinics were provided at the dispensary and hospitals. Frequent quizzes were conducted by the faculty. Lectures embraced anatomy, ophthalmology, otology, principles and practice of medicine, and clinical medicine, physiology, diseases of the chest, state medicine, and sanitary science, pathology, nervous diseases, surgery both clinical and operative, surgical pathology, obstetrics, gynecology, materia medica, therapeutics, and chemistry.

Requirements for Admission

For admission there were no requirements. In order to graduate it was required that the student be twenty-one years of age, of good moral character, completes a length of study of three years, completed two courses of lectures, one course of practical anatomy, one course of clinical instruction, and an examination on all branches taught in the college.

Cost of Attendance

Matriculation was $5; lectures were $75; demonstrator fees were $10; hospital fees were $5; graduation fees were $30.

Students

Number of matriculates and of graduates at each sessions reported, and percentages of graduates to matriculates:

SessionMatriculatesGraduatesPercent
1877-782006934+
1878-792108440
1879-802449538+
1880-8121310047+
1881-821819653+
1882-831946835+

Average percentage of graduates to matriculate during the preceding six years: forty-one percent.


Kentucky School of Medicine
Louisville, Kentucky

Population of Louisville in the early 1880s: 123,758

The Kentucky School of Medicine was established in 1856. The first graduating class occurred in 1857. Classes graduated each subsequent year. The faculty included nine professors, one lecturer and one demonstrator.

Course of Instruction

One course of lectures of twenty weeks’ duration annually, commencing 10 February, after the close of lectures in the winter schools. Quizzes were held each day by the faculty. Clinics were held at the hospital and college. Three years’ graded course was recommended but not required. Lectures embraced anatomy, physiology, chemistry, materia medica, surgical pathology, microscopy, therapeutics, obstetrics, diseases of women, surgery, clinical surgery, practice of medicine, clinical medicine, nervous diseases, ophthalmology, otology, laryngology, venereal diseases, and minor surgery.

Requirements for Admission

For admission, applicants for matriculation had to provide evidence that they possessed a good English education. To graduate, the student must have been twenty-one years of age, of good moral character, completed two full courses of lectures, the interval between the beginning of the first and the close of the second course had to have been at least fifteen months, dissection of the several regions of the body, completed a course of hospital clinics, completed an examination on all branches taught at the college. If, after the examination for the degree, the student were to be found to have received three negatives votes, the student was entitled to another examination. Should the student decline this, he may withdraw, and will not be considered rejected. The degree was not conferred upon any candidate who was frequently absent from the regular lectures of the college, or who absents himself from the public commencement without special permission of the faculty.

Cost of Attendance

Matriculation was $5; demonstrator fees were $10; hospital fees were $5; lectures were $75; graduate fee was $30.

Students

Number of matriculates and of graduates at each sessions reported, and percentages of graduates to matriculates:

SessionMatriculatesGraduatesPercent
18791364331+
18801074340+
18821325541+
18831585132+

Average percentage of graduates to matriculate during the preceding four years: thirty-six percent.


Louisville Medical College
Louisville, Kentucky

Population of Louisville in the early 1880s: 123,758

The Louisville Medical College was established in 1869. The first graduated in 1870. Classes were graduated each subsequent year. The faculty included eight professors and three demonstrators.

Course of Instruction

One preliminary course of four weeks’ duration, and a regular session of nineteen weeks’ duration, annually. Daily quizzes were held by the faculty. The plan of instruction included lectures, clinics, quizzes, and practical demonstrations. Lectures included theory and practice of medicine, anatomy, materia medica, obstetrics, gynecology, chemistry, physiology, histology, surgery, therapeutics, and diseases of children.

Requirements for Admission

For admission there were no requirements. In order to graduate, the student must be twenty-one years of age, of good moral character, completed three years’ study, two full courses of lectures (not in the same twelve months), one course of dissection, one course of hospital clinics, and satisfactory examination.

Cost of Attendance

Matriculation was $5; demonstrator fees were $10; lectures were $75; hospital fees were $5; graduation fee was $30.

Students

Number of matriculates and of graduates at each sessions reported, and percentages of graduates to matriculates:

SessionMatriculatesGraduatesPercent
1877-781497046+
1878-791366144+
1879-801295643+
1880-811165447+
1881-821255443+
1882-831575132+

Average percentage of graduates to matriculate during the preceding six years: forty-three percent.


Hospital College of Medicine
(Medical Department, Central University)
Louisville, Kentucky

Population of Louisville in the early 1880s: 123,758

The Hospital College of Medicine was established in 1873. The first class was graduate in 1875. Classes were graduated each subsequent year. The faculty included eight professors and one demonstrator.

Course of Instruction

One preliminary course of three weeks’ duration, one regular (graduating) course of nineteen weeks’ duration, and one practitioners’ course were given annually. Daily quizzes were conducted by the faculty. Clinics were given at hospitals and dispensary. Lectures included obstetrics, gynecology, physiology, hygiene, mental diseases, surgery, principles and practice of, and clinical medicine, descriptive, comparative and surgical anatomy, materia medica, therapeutics, diseases of children, ophthalmology, otology, microscopy, practical chemistry, practical physiology, and minor surgery.

Requirements for Admission

For admission there were no requirements. In order to graduate, students had to be twenty-one years of age, of good moral character, completed three years’ study, two complete courses of lectures, practical anatomy for one session, clinical instruction at hospital during one session, an an examination on all branches taught in the college.

Cost of Attendance

Matriculation was $5; lectures were $75; demonstrator fees were $10; hospital fees were $5; practical chemistry fees were $5; graduation fee was $30.

Students

Number of matriculates and of graduates at each sessions reported, and percentages of graduates to matriculates:

SessionMatriculatesGraduatesPercent
1877-78641929+
1878-79872427+
1879-80953840
1880-81773140+
1881-82753648
1882-83873135+

Average percentage of graduates to matriculate during the preceding six years: thirty-seven percent.


Jefferson School of Medicine
Louisville, Kentucky

Population of Lexington in the early 1880s: 123,758

The Jefferson School of Medicine was established in 1882. The school graduated one class, in 1882, and then suspended operations.


See also:

Medicine Between 1851-1951


Contributed by Shawn Logan | contact@kyhi.org


⁘ Works Cited ⁘

  1. Medical Education and Medical Colleges in the United States and Canada, 1765-1885. Springfield, 1885.

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