Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Medicine (Colonial Era)

A South-East Prospect of Pennsylvania Hospital

A view of Pennsylvania Hospital from the South-East.

Founded in 1751 by Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond, Pennsylvania Hospital was one of the first Hospitals in the British Colonies. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania)

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Founded in 1751 by Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond, Pennsylvania Hospital was one of the first Hospitals in the British Colonies. Its original intent was to care for the “sick-poor and insane of Philadelphia.” The building at Eighth and Pine Streets was completed and began admitting patients in 1756. In spite of this, professional medical care was hard to come by during the era. One historian has estimated that as late as the 1770s, only about 200 men in the British North American colonies held medical degrees.

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