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The University of Massachusetts Medical School was chartered in 1962 and opened in 1970, one of the 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, the original dean and faculty, most of whom were recruited from Boston medical schools, were equally devoted to basic research and tertiary care medicine.

This book tells the story of the school’s successful efforts to reconcile the demands of primary care education with world-class research. Part 1 tells the sometimes raucous story of the politics attendant on bringing the school from legislative enactment to actual groundbreaking, a process lasting more than 20 years. Part 2 describes the school’s development over a 45-year period, from a fledgling endeavor to a successful academic health science center.

Author biography

Ellen S. More, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. A medical historian 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 and a professor in the Department of Psychiatry. She is the author or editor of three previous 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, and The Empathic Practitioner: Empathy, Gender, and Medicine (Rutgers), co-edited with Maureen Milligan. She was the Visiting Curator for the National Library of Medicine’s exhibition, “Changing the Face of Medicine,” and a Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.

Publication Date



Lamar Soutter Library, University of Massachusetts Medical School


Worcester, Mass.


University of Massachusetts Medical School, University of Massachusetts Worcester, Medical schools, Academic medical centers, History


Health and Medical Administration | History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | Medicine and Health Sciences


Revised July 2016 version posted 25 July 2016.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

The University of Massachusetts Medical School, A History: Integrating Primary Care and Biomedical Research



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