Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

City of Medicine

Southern Dispensary

The Southern Dispensary for the Medical Relief of the Poor opened in 1816 on then Shippen, now Bainbridge Street west of Third. The Renaissance Revival building still standing (318-320) dates from the 1858. Most row-house Philadelphians went to family doctors in their neighborhood (or the doctor came to them). Free dispensaries (clinics) served the poor and working poor; the Southern particularly cared for the immigrants of South Philadelphia. Young physicians and trainees valued the experience gained at such dispensaries. (Photograph by Steven J. Peitzman)

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