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Vital Signs

Then & Now

A reminder of the pace of change, and of timeless truths, from remarks by the late Dartmouth President James O. Freedman at DMS's 1997 bicentennial symposium:

"For its first 10 years, Nathan Smith was Dartmouth Medical School's only faculty member. . . . Yet even under such austere conditions, Smith impressed the proper authorities. After attending one of Smith's lectures, Dartmouth's second president, John Wheelock, is said to have offered this prayer in the College chapel: 'O Lord, we thank Thee for the Oxygen Gas; we thank Thee for the Hydrogen Gas; and for all the gases. We thank Thee for the Cerebrum; we thank Thee for the Cerebellum; and for the Medulla Oblongata. Amen.'"

Number of DMS faculty members in 2008

A reminder of the pace of change, and of timeless truths, from a 1968 DMS fund-raising brochure:

"Education for medicine in the United States faces a major dilemma, the most urgent and critical since its beginnings in the 18th century. It is today too long, too costly, and insufficiently related to the nation's present and future health needs. New patterns of education for medicine are required and Dartmouth has the unique opportunity and obligation to develop them."

Number of first-year M.D. students at DMS in 1968

Annual DMS tuition then

Number of first-year M.D. students at DMS in 2008

Annual DMS tuition now

A reminder of the pace of change, and of timeless truths, from a 2001 book titled The Education of Laura Bridgman: First Deaf and Blind Person to Learn Language:

It was a Boston physician, Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, who taught Laura Bridgman to communicate after she was left deaf and blind by a bout with scarlet fever. In 1837, Howe's "chance to test his speculations about the deaf and blind came . . . when he read a newspaper account of Laura Bridgman, a deaf, mute, and blind seven-year-old living in her parents' farmhouse in Hanover, N.H. This brief report was written by Dr. Reuben Mussey, a Dartmouth professor of anatomy and surgery."

Number of vision and hearing specialists on the DMS faculty in 1837

Number today

A reminder of the pace of change, and of timeless truths, from the Fall 1991 issue of this magazine:

"Dr. Lyman Spalding, a pupil of and early assistant to [DMS founder] Nathan Smith, was the author of the first American pharmacopoeia. The book was published in 1820 and contained a list of 217 drugs. . . . Spalding's Pharmacopoeia established uniformity of nomenclature and standards of purity for all medicinal substances then known [and] was a standard reference well into the 20th century."

Year DMS's Dr. David Nierenberg chaired a national panel on how best to teach pharmacology to U.S. medical students

Number of drugs listed in the 2008 edition of the Physicians' Desk Reference

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