Louisville Medical College

Image from the Annual Announcement of Louisville Medical College

In 1869 a group of young physicians collaborated together to form the Louisville Medical College, the third college of medicine in the state of Kentucky. The first graduated in 1870. Classes were graduated each subsequent year. The faculty included eight professors and three demonstrators. This particular College of Medicine did not have any university affiliation and used a charter, granted in 1854, that was originally intended for the establishment of a medical school to be known as the Clay School of Medicine. The Clay School, however, never came to fruition. In 1874, the Kentucky School of Medicine was reorganized as a “Spring” school and it would share building facilities with the Louisville Medical College, the latter being a “Fall” school. As such, students at Louisville Medical College were encouraged to apply for the Spring session with the Kentucky School of Medicine. Not only was this reciprocal agreement faster for students there was also a reduction in tuition. This, however, was not welcomed with open arms in the medical community. A meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges resulted in the condemnation of colleges of medicine that were considered low-cost.

The Louisville Medical News was quite vocal in its distaste of Louisville Medical College’s “ways” and called upon them to either fix their ways or close up shop. The Louisville College of Medicine publicly rebuked the call of the Louisville Medical News.

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.


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


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

Louisville Medical College Matriculation Tickets

Contributed by Shawn Logan | contact@kyhi.org

⁘ Works Cited ⁘

  1. The Lexington Leader, 9 December 1949
  2. The Lexington Leader, 12 December 1952
  1. Lawson, Hampden, C.”The Early Medical Schools of Kentucky.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 24, no. 2 (1950): 168-75.
  2. Medical Education and Medical Colleges in the United States and Canada, 1765-1885. Springfield, 1885.

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