Capsule

Civil War Medicine

An exhibit at the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library throws light on a pivotal period for American hospitals and New Haven’s history. 

When New Haven’s first hospital opened in 1833, it was the product of years of political wrangling and a fund-raising campaign that swept up Yale’s small medical faculty, who needed a place both to teach clinical medicine and to build their reputations and private practices. But the State Hospital, as it was known at first, also had trouble finding enough patients to fill its 75 beds. Wealthy and middle-class New Haven residents could afford to be seen at home by their private physicians, and hospital care in the early 1800s offered few benefits over home care. Demand from patients was so low that, for the first few years, the fledgling hospital on York Street rented out rooms.That picture changed dramatically...

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