Here and There at Tufts

Doane, Lewis


The Medical and Dental Schools


A medical school, in order that its undergraduates may have the best facilities for their great amount of hospital work, must necessarily be situated in some large city not far from the best hospitals.

Our medical school consists of one large red-brick building located near the outskirts of Boston in the beautiful section known as the Fens. Looking from the front windows of the school, one may see at one side a well-kept baseball diamond, and in front a broad, green park with a beautiful boulevard winding in and out, the whole forming a pleasing foreground to the quiet Charles River just beyond. This park is rapidly becoming a very picturesque educational centre of Boston. The new Art Museum when completed, will be the nearest building to our school of those in the park; the Girls' Latin School, Simmons College, and the Harvard Medical buildings are just a little farther up in this park. Electric cars run by the school every little while, so that any part of Boston may be easily and quickly reached.

The medical building is one of the best equipped of its kind and has the largest enrollment of any medical school in New England. At present, there are about four hundred students in the medical department and over two hundred and fifty in the dental school. A college degree is not required to enter the school; but the course is fully as difficult as that of those schools which require a degree in order to enter. Statistics show that Tufts graduates compare very favorably with graduates of other medical schools. In the last classification of the American Medical Association our school was placed in Class I, this


classification being the result of an analysis of the standing before State Boards throughout the country of the graduates of various schools.

The medical course is a four year one, and the dental requires three years. The first two years are spent mostly in the school, and in the last two a great deal of hospital work is done. There are no dormitories connected with the school and the course is so exacting that there is hardly any " college life" such as is found on the Hill. The classes have their annual banquets and the fraternities have dances now and then. Four professional fraternities have chapters at Tufts, two medical and two dental.

The undergraduates in the professional schools are eligible to all of the various teams which represent Tufts. In 1906 a medical student was captain of the 'Varsity football team; and in 1907 a dental student is leader of the Glee Club.

The medical building itself is a large, well proportioned, four storied, red brick building, with ample accommodation for its many students. It is heated from the basement by both the direct and indirect systems. In the basement there is the bookstore, which carries, besides the medical and dental supplies, a complete outlay of Tufts banners, jewelry, and souvenirs. A smoking and lounging room is next to the bookstore, and the lunchroom is just beyond that. A dental infirmary and locker room take up the rest of space in the basement.

The first floor has the Dean's, Secretary's, and Bursar's offices, and in one section a library. Beyond the library is a large, well-lighted histological laboratory in which the classes in Physiology and Histology perform their experiments. Another dental infirmary is on the other side of the building and in this the upper classmen of the Dental school


receive their practice. The students do dentists' work with practically no expense to the patient and consequently they have all the practice to which they can attend.

The amphitheatre, seating three hundred and fifty can be entered from both the first and the second floors. Demonstrations to all classes are here given so that some recitation or lecture is almost always in progress there.

The second floor contains the Prosthetic laboratory for dental students and the Pathological laboratory for medical students. The Pathological laboratory is directly over the Histological laboratory, and the library is well equipped with all of the modern improvements.

On the top floor are two chemical laboratories, the dissecting room, and two recitation rooms. Both chemical laboratories have individual lockers, gas, and cold water, and are provided with the best facilities for carrying on experiments. The dissecting room is one of the largest and cleanest in the State.

From the top of the building it is possible to view the business section of Boston in one direction, and in the opposite direction the Blue Hills and the large surrounding reservation may be seen.

The Medical school was established in Boston in I893, the first regular session taking place on Wednesday, October 8, 1893, at three o'clock. The exercises were informal and consisted of a few opening remarks by Albert Nott, Dean of the School and Professor of Physiology, followed by an address of greater length by President Copley.

The address was very impressive, and the closing words of President Copley: " Tufts College never puts her hand to the plough, and then looks back," put to rest any uncertainty


which some of the new students entertained as to the future of the school. The enrollment of students for the College year 1893-4 was eighty and twenty-two were graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medicine at Commencement, June, 1894, eight of this number being women. The enrollment of 1906-7 was 376, and 72 were graduated.

The rapid, phenomenal growth of the Medical School may be traced to several causes. It is the only allopathic school in this part of the country which admits women; the entrance requirements do not demand a college degree; it is less expensive than most of the other schools; and it has the clinical advantages of a large city.

The school was first located at 188 Boylston Street, Boston, directly opposite the Public Gardens, and within a few steps of Park Square. The growth of the school made larger accommodations imperative, and the Chauncey Hall School building was rented temporarily until the next headquarters, a handsome stone structure, situated upon the corners of Rutland Street, Shawmut Avenue, and Newland Street, costing about $75,000 could be erected. This building was formerly the property of the First Free Baptist Church. The site was selected because of its proximity to the Boston City Hospital, the Boston Dispensary, and other charitable institutions, its easy accessibility, the quiet of the neighborhood, and the opportunity for inexpensive boarding and lodging of students in the vicinity. This building remained the home of the school until 1900. By vote of the trustees steps were taken to procure the present building.

The Tufts College Dental School, formerly the Boston Dental College, and incorporated under that name in i868, became an incorporate part of Tufts College in 1899 through a special act of legislature. This was in consequence of the new anatomical laws of the


State and because its former Board of Trustees felt that the advance in dental education rendered it desirable that the more purely scientific portion of its curriculum should be carried on in connection with a medical school.

In the Medical School are found chapters of two of the men's professional fraternities: Gamma Chapter of Alpha Kappa Kappa, and Phi Theta Chi Fraternity. Alpha Kappa Kappa was founded at the Medical Department of Dartmouth College, September 28, 1888 and in 1889 was incorporated under the laws of the State of New Hampshire, Gamma Chapter was formed in 1893. Honorary members are provided for but it is necessary that they be graduates in medicine.

April 21, 1894 a women's society was formed here under the name of Alpha Delta.

In the Dental School, Psi Omega Fraternity is represented by the Delta Chapter which was formed in 1895. This fraternity was organized at the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, in 1892. Also here is found the Mu Chapter of Delta Sigma Delta, a fraternity founded in the Dental Department of the University of Michigan on March 5, 1883, designed to be confined to schools of dentistry. To elevate the morals and tone of the practice of dentistry among its members is one of the chief objects of the society. The Mu Chapter was organized in 1897 when the Tufts Dental School was still the Boston Dental College.

Phi Theta Chi is a local medical fraternity and was founded five years ago by three medical students. This society takes in members in the same manner as the other fraternities, and provision is also made for honorary members.

The fraternity has rooms on Albemarle Street, a short distance from the school. At frequent intervals talks are given under the auspices of Phi Theta Chi by men well-versed in medical science. These talks are open to any one interested in the subject.

The fraternities at the Medical and Dental Schools are of course much different from the national societies represented on the Hill, although the same purposes and same feeling may be found in them.

One reason for the greater influence of the fraternities on the Hill is that the students of the Medical Schools do not have the time to devote to fraternal activities, as do the men in the academic departments. Consequently the fraternities in the Medical School have developed more after the manner of clubs, but undoubtedly they fill a place in the life of the Medical School that could not be filled in any other way.

In a social way the fraternities are permanent; they give dances and banquets at frequent intervals throughout the year, and these are as a rule well attended by the undergraduate body.

R. W. B.

  • Here and There at Tufts, was published by the class of 1909 as an early form of a yearbook. The text includes photographs and histories of academic buildings, dormitories, former deans and presidents, classrooms, fraternities, athletic teams, and student organizations.
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