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Penn History

In the late 1880s, Penn’s medical faculty consisted of twenty-three professors, including six clinical professors and four emeritus professors. This distinguished faculty included some of the most respected physicians of the nineteenth century – men such as D. Hayes Agnew, Richard A.F. Penrose, William Pepper, Jr., Alfred Stillé, James Tyson, J. William White, Horatio C. Wood, Joseph Leidy, and such a rising star as William Osler.

In the 1888-1889 academic year, these professors were assisted by 3 assistant and auxiliary professors, 48 lecturers and demonstrators and 14 students serving as laboratory assistants. At the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, students worked with the 25 staff physicians and 36 dispensary physicians; these included not just the teaching and clinical faculty of the Medical School, but other physicians as well.

By comparison, the 169 students graduating in 1860, almost thirty years earlier, had been taught by just seven professors and three demonstrator/lecturers, with only one emeritus professor and, since the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania did not yet exist, no hospital staff. A small part of the huge increase in teaching staff by the late 1880s was because the course of study had been expanded from two to three years, but more of this increase was due to the new emphasis on a broader curriculum and much more hands-on experience.

Assistant and auxiliary professors, lecturers and demonstrators in the Medical Department as well as staff physicians at University of Pennsylvania Hospital are identified in the University Catalog for 1888-1889.

Professors in the teaching and clinical faculties who taught during the student years of the Class of 1889, as well as emeritus professors, are listed below, followed by their life dates, Penn degrees and Penn faculty positions.


Medical faculty, c. 1885
D. Hayes (David Hayes) Agnew (1818-1892), M.D. 1838, LL.D. (hon.) 1888, John Rhea Barton Professor of Surgery and Professor of Clinical Surgery

John Ashhurst, Jr., (1839-1900), A.B. 1857, M.D. 1860, Professor of Clinical Surgery

William Goodell (1829-1894), M.D. 1871, Professor of Gynecology

Barton Cooke Hirst (1861-1935), College Class of 1882, M.D. 1883, Associate Professor of Obstetrics (beginning fall 1888)

Howard A. (Howard Atwood) Kelly (1858-1943), A.B. 1877, M.D. 1882, LL.D. (hon.) 1907, Associate Professor of Obstetrics (beginning fall 1888)

Joseph Leidy (1823-1891) M.D. 1844, Professor of Anatomy

William F. (William Fisher) Norris (1839-1901), A.B. 1857, M.D. 1861, Honorary Professor of Opthalmology

William Osler (1849-1919), Professor of Clinical Medicine

Richard A. F. (Richard Alexander Fullerton) Penrose (1827-1908), Professor of Obstetrics and of the Diseases of Women and Children (retired 1887)

William Pepper, Jr. (1843-1898), A.B. 1862, M.D. 1864, Professor of Theory and Practice of Medine and of Clinical Medicine, Provost and ex officio President of the University

Edward Tyson Reichert (1855-1931), M.D. 1870, Professor of Physiology

James Tyson, (1841-1919), M.D. 1863, LL.D. (hon.) 1912, Dean of Medical Faculty and Professor of Pathology and Morbid Anatomy

Horatio C. Wood (1841-1920), M.D. 1862, LL.D. (hon.) 1904, Professor of Materia Medica, Pharmacy and General Therapeutics

Theodore G. (Theodore George) Wormley (1826-1897), Professor of Chemistry and Toxicology

Clinical Professors

Louis A. Duhring (1845-1913), A.B. 1867, M.D. 1867, LL.D. (hon.)1912, Clinical Professor of Skin Diseases

William F. (William Fisher) Norris (1839-1901), A.B. 1857, M.D. 1861, Clinical Professor of Diseases of the Eye

Louis Starr (1849-1925), M.D. 1871, Clinical Professor of Diseases of Children

George Strawbridge (1844-1914), A.B. 1863, M.D. 1866, Clinical Professor of Diseases of the Ear

J. William (James William) White (1850-1916), M.D. 1871, Clinical Professor of Genito-Urinary Diseases

Horatio C. Wood (1841-1920), M.D. 1862, LL.D. (hon.) 1894, Clinical Professor of Nervous Diseases

Emeritus Professors

Harrison Allen (1841-1897), M.D. 1861, Emeritus Professor of Physiology

Richard Alexander Fullerton Penrose (1827-1908), M.D. 1849, Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and of the Diseases of Women and Children

Henry H. (Henry Hollingsworth) Smith (1815-1890), A.B. 1834, M.D. 1837, Emeritus Professor of Surgery

Alfred Stillé (1813-1900), A.B. 1832, M.D. 1836, LL.D. (hon.) 1889, Emeritus Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine and of Clinical Medicine