A Radical Proposition: The Brief but Exceptional History of the Seattle School Clinic, 1914-21
- Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
- Oxford University Press
- Volume 68, Number 2, April 2013
- pp. 227-265
- Additional Information
- Purchase/rental options available:
This article examines the history of the Seattle school clinic (1914-21) and the efforts of public school administrators to institutionalize a full-service medical program for poor and working class children. At its height, thirty-six volunteer physicians and thirteen partially paid dentists organized within nine departments performed a range of diagnostic and "corrective" surgical procedures, including tonsillectomies, circumcisions, and eye surgeries. These practices were not funded by other public school systems across the United States, almost all of which delineated between prevention and treatment services. This article explains the exceptional nature of the clinic, examines the institutional tensions instigated by the expression of medical authority within the schools, and considers how clinic technologies influenced state-school-child relations.