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History of the Medical College of Georgia

Phinizy Spalding

Publication Year: 2011

Phinizy Spalding traces the development of Georgia’s oldest medical school from the initial plans of a small group of physicians to the five school complex found in Augusta in the late 1980s. Charting a course filled with great achievement and near-fatal adversity, Spalding shows how the life of the college has been intimately bound to the local community, state politics, and the national medical establishment.

When the Medical Academy of Georgia opened its doors in 1828 to a class of seven students, the total number of degreed physicians in the state was fewer than one hundred. Spalding traces the history of the Academy through its early robust growth in the antebellum years; its slowed progress during the Civil War; its decline and hardships during the early half of the twentieth century; and finally its resurgence and a new era of optimism starting in the 1950s.

Published by: University of Georgia Press


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix

It has been almost sixty years since William H. Goodrich published his History of the Medical Department of the University of Georgia. I would be belaboring the obvious to say that Dean Goodrich's...


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1. Origins

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pp. 3-19

The trustees for establishing the colony of Georgia were, from the start, determined to create a new and unique sort of province in America. In the first boatload of settlers....

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2. The Faculty

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pp. 20-30

Coming from Savannah by steamboat in August 1833, Swedish traveler and scholar C. D. Arfwedson commented that of all the towns in the South, "none, with the exception of New...

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3. MCG to the Death of Antony

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pp. 31-40

As seen earlier, Joseph Eve spelled out some of the general problems besetting American medical education in the 1830s, including short sessions and courses...

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4. Maturity and Sectional Eminence

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pp. 41-60

That the Medical College of Georgia survived the death of Milton Antony and prospered during the next two decades is a tribute to both Antony and the College. The number...

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5. The Coming of the Civil War

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pp. 61-74

The fabric that held the nation together, long under stress, began slowly to unravel during the winter of 1849-50. The Mexican War, which looked very successful when gauged...


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6. The Civil War and Its Aftermath

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pp. 77-90

The city of Augusta, a thriving urban center of roughly thirteen thousand people in 1860, was spared the ravages of war such as were visited upon Atlanta and Columbia. The town,...

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7. Eugene Foster and the 1890s

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pp. 91-104

The 1890s were a watershed decade in American history. Economically and culturally the United States had changed dramatically since the Civil War. Immigration patterns had altered radically too, with the shift from northern Europe to the southern...

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8. The Storm Approaches

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pp. 105-117

The new century seemed to start quietly enough. The pace of life was slow; it was a time when gentlemen "in white linen suits . . . strolled Augusta's shaded boulevards. They walked slowly, their green-lined umbrellas held high against the summer...

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9. Flexner and Beyond

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pp. 118-129

Students interested in entering the College's 1908- 1909 academic year might well have read the school's Bulletin and concluded that all was well. No period was "so bright as at present. The Faculty has recently been re-organized and...

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10. World War I and the Twenties

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pp. 130-142

August 1915 found Doughty reporting to his faculty that the College had "reached such a stage in its development" that it could now best be run by committees. He recommended...


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11. The Early Depression Years

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pp. 145-157

Georgia national average, skidded dramatically after Wall Street's Great Crash. There simply was not enough state money to go around. Following the collapse of the price of cotton and cottonseed after World War

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12. Survival

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pp. 158-177

The Augusta political delegation, headed by the energetic and ambitious Roy V. Harris, sometime friend and associate of Governor Eugene Talmadge, went into action to see...

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13. The Era of World War II

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pp. 178-191

Change in the personnel and structure of the Medical College of Georgia was everywhere apparent, even before the decade of the 1940s was reached. In 1937 new departments...

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14. Edgar Fund and the 1950s

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pp. 192-202

Pathology's Edgar Fund succeeded Kelly as the second president of MCG in July 1953. That fall an official celebration and investiture was held at the old Medical College with Chancellor and Mrs. Harmon Caldwell as special guests. The talk...

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15. Toward the Present

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pp. 203-213

When Fund stepped down from the presidency in 1958 his place was taken by the youthful and energetic Harry O'Rear who had been the old president's right-hand man....

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16. Only Yesterday

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pp. 214-226

The key to understanding the history of the Medical College of Georgia in the 1970s and early 1980s lies in realizing that the school has been absorbed with consolidating its earlier gains and reestablishing its old identity. MCG has been deeply...


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pp. 227-264

Bibliographical Note

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pp. 265-276


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pp. 277-290

E-ISBN-13: 9780820342221
E-ISBN-10: 082034222X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820340418
Print-ISBN-10: 0820340413

Page Count: 322
Illustrations: 41 b&w photos
Publication Year: 2011