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Reunion 2014--And A Brief Look Back

Cutting-edge presentations and gala festivities are planned for this year's Reunion, to be held on October 10-11. The theme of the weekend is "The Evolution of Medical Education." We will be celebrating classes that graduated as recently as five years ago, all the way up to those who received their medical degrees sixty-five years ago.

Rees Pritchett is the class leader for the graduates of 1948 celebrating their 65th reunion. When he entered medical school in 1944, the United States was in the midst of World War II. Like other medical schools, we were on an accelerated year-round program with no summer break, in order to produce more doctors for military service. The Army and Navy had also established special training programs to increase the number of commissioned officers in the armed forces. Although Dr. Pritchett was enrolled as a civilian, the majority of the students here were in military service at the time. He looks forward to seeing his fellow classmates back on campus.

Reunion 2014 will include lectures and panels on how education has evolved over the 116 years our medical school has been in existence. Back at the turn of the 20th century, clinical teaching took place mostly at Bellevue Hospital, located across the street from Cornell's first medical school building, which was on First Avenue and 26th Street. This photo shows a surgical class observing an operation at the Bellevue Hospital amphitheater. Our first dean, the obstetrician/gynecologist William Polk, can be seen standing the third from the left.

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I'm very much looking forward to seeing many of our past graduates at Reunion and hearing about transformations in the medical student experience over the decades. And I hope our alumni are as well!

Posted October 8, 2014 11:01 AM | Permalink to this post

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