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New Orleans School of Medicine: A Guide: 1856-1870. Clinical teaching in Charity Hospital

New Orleans School of Medicine was founded in 1856 and closed in 1870. This school was a rival medical school utilizing Charity Hospital along with the University of Louisiana.

New Orleans School of Medicine, Established 1856 and closed in 1870.

"The existence of two strong schools enhanced New Orleans' reputation, and the result was that both school saw their enrollment increase.  The New Orleans school began in 1856 with a student body of seventy six. ... by 1860 New Orleans had two medical schools equal to the better schools elsewhere, with a total enrollment of 638 students. ... In terms of enrollment the University of Louisiana medical school tied for fourth place in the nation (with the University of Nashville), and the New Orleans School of Medicine ranked seventh. - John Duffy. (1984) The Tulane University Medical Center, p. 28-29.

"The 1850's saw a spirited clash between the faculty of the well-established Medical School of the University of Louisiana and the newly founded New Orleans School of Medicine.  The spokesman for the New Orleans School of Medicine was the recently organized New Orleans Medical News and Hospital Gazette.  The editorial writers of this journal always referred to the faction they represented as "Young Medicine,"  and they constantly contrasted the progressive approach ... with the supposedly conservative attitude attitude of the older group. See: John Duffy, ed. The Rudolph Matas History of Medicine in Louisiana, Volume II. Ante Bellum Period, 1825-1860, p.54.

Faculty of the New Orleans School of Medicine

The New Orleans School of Medicine was founded November 1, 1856 largely through the efforts of Dr. Erasmus Darwin Fenner. - John Duffy. (1984) The Tulane University Medical Center, p. 28

A listing of physicians that served on the faculty transcribed from the available annual reports. 

  • Erasmus M. Fenner, M.D. - Professor of Theory and Practice of Medicine.
  • Anthony A. Peniston, M.D. - Professor of Physiology.
  • Austin Flint, Sr. M.D. (1812-1886) - Professor of Clinical Medicine and Auscultation and Percussion (appointed 1857).
  • Austin Flint, Jr. (1836-1915) - Professor of Physiology (appointed 1860)
  • Thomas Peniston, M.D. - Emeritus Professor of Clinical Medicine and Auscultation and Percussion.
  • Samuel Choppin, M.D. - Professor of Surgery.
  • Isaac L. Crawcour, M.D. Professor of Chemistry and Medical Jurisprucdence.
  • Howard Smith, M.D., Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics.
  • John M. W. Picton, M.D.,Professor of Diseases of Women and Children.
  • D. Warren Brickell, M.D. Professor of Obstetrics
  • Cornelius C. Beard, M.D. Professor of Anatomy
  • J. F. Grall, M.D., Demonstrator of Anatomy.
  • Theodore S. Clapp, M.D., Adjunct Professor of Anatomy
  • A. Forster Axson, M.D. Professor of Physiology
  • Alfred C. Holt, M.D. Professor Clinical Medicine (1867/68- )
  • A. E. Peticolas, M.D. Professor of Anatomy
  • J. Dickson Bruns, M.D. Professor of Physiology and Pathology
  • Samuel Logan, M.D., Professor of Surgery
  • William S. Mitchell, M.D., Professor of Ophthalmic Medicine and Surgery
  • Alfred W. Perry, M.D., Demonstrator of Anatomy
  • J. B. Davis, M.D., Demonstrator of Anatomy
  • William Hutson Ford, M.D., Professor of Medical Chemistry, Toxicology, etc.
  • L.G. Capers, M.D., Demonstrator of Anatomy
  • J.W. Caldwell, M.D., Demonstrator of Anatomy
  • R. C. Griffen, M.D. Materia Medica
  • Jno. W. Caldwell, M.D., Anatomy and Practice
  • S. Logan, M.D., Dean of the Faculty,1869-69


Resource: The Rudolph Matas History of Medicine in Louisiana, edited by John Duffy.

See: Ante Bellum Period, 1825-1860 - Medical Education, p.260-268.

The prime mover in founding the New Orleans School of Medicine was Dr. Erasmus Darwin Fenner, one of the prominent physicians in Southern medicine. ... 

The federal occupation of New Orleans in 1862 was the final blow, bringing a complete halt to all formal medical education for the remaining war years.


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