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Jefferson Medical College: Legend and Lore

Howard Spiro, MD
JAMA. 1997;277(3):265-266. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540270091037.
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An extraordinarily engaging book, Jefferson Medical College: Legend and Lore is a labor of love to "record an institution's tradition and history" as its President, Paul C. Brucker, writes in the foreword. I was doubtful about the tome, the third in the trilogy of Jefferson's history, but it is beguiling to dip into its 15 chapters. They cover everything from the founding of the school, medical student life in the 19th century, alumni who founded other medical colleges, unusual Jefferson alumni, alumni who attended US presidents, eminent professors, and much more. I knew that the DaCostas were graduates of "Jeff," that Chevalier Jackson and Hobart Reimann had graced its corridors, but that Dercum of "Dercum's Disease" and John Gibbon of the heart-lung machine had worked there was news. There are chapters on early black alumni (the first identifiable black graduate, Algernon Jackson, graduated in 1901) and on early Jewish graduates


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