Morgan, John,1735–89, American physician, b. Philadelphia, grad. College of Philadelphia (now Univ. of Pennsylvania), 1751. He founded, in Philadelphia (1765), the first medical school in the United States. In 1775 he became director-general and physician in chief to the general hospital of the Continental Army. Blamed for a high mortality rate in the hospital, he was removed (1777) by Congress, which later exonerated him. His writings include A Discourse on the Introduction of Medical Schools in America (1765).
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Morgan, John(1735–89) physician; born in Philadelphia. After serving an apprenticeship under the great John Redman of Philadelphia, he continued his medical studies in Great Britain and Italy. On returning, he took the lead in founding the medical school at the College of Philadelphia (University of Pennsylvania) in 1765; he joined the faculty and wrote his influential Discourse upon the Institution of Medical Schools in America (1765). After the American Revolution had begun, Congress appointed him medical director of the hospitals and chief physician of the colonial army (1775); he insisted on such charges in the medical department and upon such high standards that his subordinates rebelled and Congress finally removed him (1777). He returned to teaching at the Pennsylvania Hospital and to his private practice, but not without publishing a defense of his conduct.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.