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Jefferson Medical College

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Jefferson Medical College

For the unrelated California law school, see Thomas Jefferson School of Law.
Thomas Jefferson University
File:Thomas Jefferson University Logo.png
Established 1824
Type Private
Endowment $614.3 million[1]
President Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA
Students 2,867[2]
Undergraduates 1,057[2]
Postgraduates 844[2]
Location United States Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Campus Urban

Thomas Jefferson University is a private health sciences university in Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States. The university consists of six constituent colleges and schools, Jefferson Medical College, Jefferson College of Graduate Studies, Jefferson School of Health Professions, Jefferson School of Nursing, Jefferson School of Pharmacy, and Jefferson School of Population Health. In 2011, the medical college (JMC) was ranked #42 among the nation's medical schools by U.S. News & World Report.


Jefferson Medical College

During the early 19th century, several attempts to create a second medical school in Philadelphia had been stymied, largely due to the efforts of University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine alumni[3] In an attempt to circumvent that opposition, a group of Philadelphia physicians led by Dr. George McClellan sent a letter to the trustees of Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania (now Washington & Jefferson College) in 1824, asking the College to establish a medical department in Philadelphia.[4] The trustees agreed, establishing the Medical Department of Jefferson College in Philadelphia.[4] In spite of a vigorous challenge, the Pennsylvania General Assembly granted an expansion of Jefferson College's charter in 1826, endorsing the creation of the new department and allowing it to grant medical degrees.[4][5] An additional 10 Jefferson College trustees were appointed to supervise the new facility from Philadelphia, owing to the difficulty of managing a medical department on the other side of the state.[4] Two years later, this second board was granted authority to manage the Medical Department, while the Jefferson College trustees maintained veto power for major decisions.[4]

The first class was graduated in 1826, receiving their degrees only after the disposition of a lawsuit seeking to close the school.[4] The first classes were held in the Tivoli Theater on Prune Street in Philadelphia, which had the first medical clinic attached to a medical school.[6] Owing to the teaching philosophy of Dr. McClellan, classes focused on clinical practice.[6] In 1828, the Medical Department moved to the Ely Building, which allowed for a large lecture space and the "Pit," a 700-seat amphitheater to allow students to view surgeries.[6] This building had an attached hospital, the second such medical school/hospital arrangement in the nation, servicing 441 inpatients and 4,659 outpatients in its first year of operation.[6] The relationship with Jefferson College survived until 1838, when the Medical Department received a separate charter, allowing it operate separately as the Jefferson Medical College.[5][7]

By 1844 Jefferson was providing patient beds over a shop at 10th and Sansom Streets. A 125-bed hospital, one of the first in the nation affiliated with a medical school, opened in 1877, and a school for nurses began in 1891. The Medical College became Thomas Jefferson University on July 1, 1969. As an academic health care center, Jefferson is currently involved in education, medical research, and patient care. Jefferson Medical College is the 9th oldest American medical school that is in existence today.[8]


The University is affiliated with Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals (TJUH)—including Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience, and Methodist Hospital Division of TJUH. Thomas Jefferson University is also the primary academic affiliate of the Jefferson Health System. Jefferson Health System was founded in 1995 when Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and the Main Line Health System signed an agreement establishing a new, nonprofit, corporate entity known as the Jefferson Health System. The agreement brought together the Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, Inc. and Main Line Health under one corporate parent. Since then, other established networks have joined Jefferson Health System as founding members, which at one point included the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network,[9] Frankford Health Care System (now Aria Health),[10][11] and still retains Magee Rehabilitation Hospital as a member.

The Gross Clinic

In January 2007 the University sold Thomas Eakins' painting The Gross Clinic, which depicts a surgery that took place at the school, for $68 million, to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, in association with the Philadelphia Museum of Art.[12] A reproduction hangs in its place at Jefferson University.

See also


External links

  • — Thomas Jefferson University
  • — Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
  • A Brief History of Thomas Jefferson University — from the University Archives and Special Collections
  • — Jefferson School of Population Health
  • Additional primary resources from the Jefferson History Collections from the Scott Memorial Library, Thomas Jefferson University.

Coordinates: 39°56′54″N 75°09′24″W / 39.9484°N 75.1567°W / 39.9484; -75.1567

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