Dartmouth Medical School Founded

Named the Geisel School of Medicine in 2014, the medical school is the fourth-oldest in the United States.

The school was named in honor of Audrey and Theodor Geisel, who generously gave to the College throughout their lifetimes and through their estate planning. Theodor “Ted” Geisel, known worldwide as the author and illustrator, “Dr. Seuss,” was a Dartmouth graduate of the Class of 1925.

Aware of the scarcity of medical professionals in the Upper Valley, Nathan Smith, a physician based out of Cornish, New Hampshire, petitioned the Board of Trustees to fund the establishment of a medical school. With the board's approval, Smith began lecturing in the fall of 1797. The third graduate of Harvard's medical school, Smith went on to co-found medical schools at the University of Vermont, Bowdoin College, and Yale. 

The Geisel School of Medicine has a rich history of firsts and other contributions to the medical field, including the first clinical X-ray in America, the first multispecialty intensive care unit, and the Dartmouth Atlas, the first comprehensive examination of variations in health care costs in US medical practice.

Image courtesy of the Rauner Special Collections Library

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