Modernizing the American Medical School, 1893-1940: Architecture, Pedagogy, Professionalization, and Philanthropy


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


Art History


At the end of the nineteenth century, a revolution occurred in American medical education as physicians embraced scientific medicine and experiential learning. The new curriculum required the total redesign of the medical school. This dissertation provides the first comprehensive examination of medical school architecture and considers the transformative years 1893-1940. Existing research on medical architecture has focused on spaces for patient care. An analysis of the buildings for medical training reveals a new set of cultural discourses. The form of the medical schools shaped the professional identities of doctors and nurses and helped define modern medicine for members of the medical community and the public. This study also suggests the need for research into other educational sites.