Medical Education at William & Mary
The history of medical education at the College of William and Mary begins with the founding of the Chair of Anatomy and Medicine on 4 December 1779 as a part of Thomas Jefferson's reforms of the College. While that chair was left vacant in 1784, there have been numerous other attempts to restore medical education to William & Mary.
Chair of Anatomy and Medicine
The Chair of Anatomy and Medicine was created at the December 4, 1779 meeting of the Board of Visitors of the College of William and Mary as a part of Thomas Jefferson's reforms of the College. The purpose of Jefferson's reforms, as he recalled late in life, was to "amend the constitution of Wm & Mary College, to enlarge it's sphere of science, and to make it in fact a University." In order to acheive this goal, Jefferson and the Board of Visitors abolished the two chairs of divinity and the Grammar School, and in place established chairs in law and police, modern languages, and anatomy and medicine.
Dr. James McClurg served as the chair from 1779 until 1784, when he left the College to go into private practice. The vacancy of the chair was never filled. During the 1836-1837 session, the Board of Visitors wanted the Virginia General Assembly to provide funding for a medical school in Richmond, Virginia. The General Assembly, however, could not agree on either an affiliation with a school or the medical school's location, so they postponed the legislation indefinitely.
- Godson, Susan H, et. al., The College of William and Mary: A History, King and Queen Press, 1993. pg. 132, 133, 169, 173, 264.
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