University of Massachusetts Medical School Timeline
Historical Timeline of UMass Medical School – updated regularly
UMMS History eBook
When an all-male class of 16 students entered the new University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1970, they might well have wondered whether they were making a huge mistake. Undoubtedly they took an enormous risk. The entire school—faculty, students, staff, laboratories, offices and classrooms—was housed in a small converted warehouse. The faculty probably had their doubts as well. Not so Dr. Lamar Soutter, the school’s founding dean and guiding spirit. No matter how many times the state legislature threatened to withhold the school’s funding, or how many governors threatened to shut it down altogether, Soutter knew he could outlast them all.
The University of Massachusetts Medical School, chartered in 1962 and opened in 1970, was one of a cohort of medical schools founded in response to fears of a physician shortage. In Massachusetts, this translated into a call for more opportunities for the state’s students to attend an affordable school where, it was hoped, they would deliver primary care to the people of their home state. Yet, Dean Soutter and the original faculty, most of whom were basic scientists recruited from Boston medical schools, were equally devoted to basic research and tertiary care medicine. This book tells the story of the school’s struggle, and eventual success in reconciling the demands of primary care education with world-class research.
A revised version of this online history titled Beating the Odds: The University of Massachusetts Medical School, a History, 1962-2012 (TidePool Press, 2017), is available in hard cover from the publisher, from Amazon, or at the UMMS book store.
Ellen S. More, Ph.D., a historian of medicine, is Professor Emeritus of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Specializing in the history of the American medical profession, the history of women physicians, and the history of medical education, she was the founding head of the Office of Medical History and Archives, Lamar Soutter Library, at UMass Medical School. She is the author or editor of four books, including Restoring the Balance: Women Physicians and the Profession of Medicine, 1850-1995 (Harvard), winner of the Rossiter Prize from the History of Science Society, Women Physicians and the Cultures of Medicine (Johns Hopkins), co-edited with Elizabeth Fee and Manon Parry, winner of the Best Publication award from the Archivists and Librarians of the History of the Health Sciences, The Empathic Practitioner: Empathy, Gender, and Medicine (Rutgers), co-edited with Maureen Milligan, and Beating the Odds: The University of Massachusetts Medical School, a History, 1962-2012 (TidePool Press, 2017), a revised, corrected, and updated version of The University of Massachusetts Medical School: Integrating Primary Care and Biomedical Research. More was also the Visiting Curator for the National Library of Medicine’s exhibition “Changing the Face of Medicine,” available online at https://cfmedicine.nlm.nih.gov/.
Examples of OMHA activities can be found in the following issues of Vitae and SoutteReview, the library's former newsletter:
- "Meet Dr. Ellen S. More, Head, Office of Medical History and Archives" – Spring 2006, Issue 26
- "Tribute to Lamar Soutter, M.D., From the Archives: H. Brownell Wheeler Papers" – Winter 2009, Issue 32
- "From the Archives..." – Winter 2009, Issue 32
- "The Wheeler Collection: An Interview with Kristine Reinhard" – Winter 2009, Issue 32
- "History of Medicine Class Is Ambitious in Its Sweep" – Winter 2009, Issue 32
- "A Medical School for Massachusetts: Worcester and the Donahue Report of 1962" – Summer 2009, Issue 33
- "Celebrating the History of the Graduate School of Nursing" – Spring 2011, Issue 35
- "Celebrating the History of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences" – Fall 2012, Issue 38
- "The Last Word" – Spring/Summer 2007 issue
Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture
Web Exhibit: Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture – by Molly Higgins, 2014. Surviving & Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture is a traveling exhibit on the history of AIDS, created by the National Library of Medicine. In conjunction with that exhibit, the Office of Medical History and Archives, a division of the Lamar Soutter Library at UMass Medical School, has created an exhibit on the history of AIDS research and care at UMMS.
A History of MassBiologics
Web Exhibit: A History of MassBiologics – by Martha Meacham, 2013.
History of the University of Massachusetts Worcester
Web Exhibit: The People's Medicine Comes to Massachusetts: Establishing a Family Medicine Residency at UMass Medical School – by Ellen More, Ph.D., Heather-Lyn Haley, Ph.D., and Robert Vander Hart, 2008.
Web Exhibit: Lamar Soutter, M.D. (1909-1996): Founding Dean of UMMS – by Gael Evans, Judy Nordberg, and Robert Vander Hart, 2005.
Video: "The University of Massachusetts Medical School: A History" – by Peter Castaldi, M.D., 2002. Funded by the Worcester District Medical Society.
American Archives Month
As a way to promote a broader understanding of, and interest in, the history of UMass-Worcester we celebrate American Archives Month each October. This annual celebration, "Look How Far We've Come (and How We Got Started)" focuses on the history of some aspect of the three schools that comprise UMass-Worcester: the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Nursing, and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Not only do we showcase speakers who were significant contributors to our legacy—with great stories to tell—but we also prepare for the event by conducting oral history interviews and accessioning into the archives surviving documents from earlier years of the institution.
Worcester State Hospital
Worcester State Hospital's first superintendent, Dr. Samuel B. Woodward, was a leader in the burgeoning practice of American psychiatry, and one of the founders and first president of the organization that is today the American Psychiatric Association. A poster from 2005 by Len Levin, Lisa Palmer, and Janet Dadoly, "Dr. Samuel B. Woodward: A Nineteenth-Century Pioneer in American Psychiatric Care," has appeared at the annual meetings of the Medical Library Association and the North Atlantic Health Science Libraries, Inc.
Worcester State Hospital – Before and After the Fire of 1991 - (PowerPoint slideshow)
Women in Medicine
Web Exhibit: Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America's Women Physicians – Ellen More and Manon Parry, co-curators, National Library of Medicine exhibition, 2003-2005.
Web Exhibit: Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America's Women Physicians – Lamar Soutter Library Travelling Exhibit, May 5-June 15, 2006.
- History of Medicine enlightens as it informs (December 17, 2012) – UMassMedNow interviews the students and instructors of UMMS’ History of Medicine seminar series, offered to all students each year during the fall semester.
- Embracing online academic publishing in the age of eBooks (October 12, 2012) – To kick off Open Access Week events at the Lamar Soutter Library, Ellen More, PhD, Head of the Office of Medical History and Archives, discusses scholarly electronic publishing. Dr. More is the author of the library’s first eBook; A History of the University of Massachusetts Medical School: Integrating Primary Care and Biomedical Research, Part 1.
- Making rare books available to everyone (September 2, 2011) – Thanks to a large digitization effort, the Lamar Soutter Library provides free and open access to rare medical books through the Medical Heritage Library.
Books Published Using UMMS Archives Material
The Birth of the Pill : How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution, by Jonathan Eig, (2014)
Portraits of Pride II, Chinese-American Legacies – First 160 Years in America, by L. P. Leung, Project Director, (2011)
A Good Man : Gregory Goodwin Pincus : The Man, His Story, The Birth Control Pill, by Leon Speroff, (2009)
The following reviews were written by Harvey Fenigsohn between 2007 and 2011. The books reviewed here all may be found in the Library’s general collection and are available for checkout.
Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Society, W.W. Norton & Company, 1997. Reviewed November 2011 by Harvey Fenigsohn.
Pauline W. Chen, M.D., Final Exam: A Surgeon's Reflection on Mortality, Vintage Books, 1997. Reviewed February 2011 by Harvey Fenigsohn.
David T. Courtwright, Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World, Harvard University Press, 2001. Reviewed in 2009 by Harvey Fenigsohn.
Judith Walzer Leavitt, Typhoid Mary: Captive to the Public's Health, Beacon Press, 1996. Reviewed in 2009 by Harvey Fenigsohn.
Frances K. Conley, M.D., Walking Out on the Boys, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998. Reviewed in 2008 by Harvey Fenigsohn.
Martin S. Pernick, The Black Stork: Eugenics and the Death of "Defective" Babies in American Medicine and Motion Pictures in America Since 1915, Oxford University Press, 1996. Reviewed in 2008 by Harvey Fenigsohn.
Lori Arviso Alvord, M.D., and Elizabeth Cohen Van Pelt, The Scalpel and The Silver Bear, Bantam Books, 2000. Reviewed in 2008 by Harvey Fenigsohn.
Robert N. Proctor, The Nazi War on Cancer, Princeton University Press, 1999. Reviewed in 2007 by Harvey Fenigsohn.