TMC’s Public Open House in September, 1889

Knoxville’s Medical College.  The Doors of the School Thrown open Yesterday.  Addresses Made by Prof. C. C. Lancaster and Dean Cawood

Without pompt [sic] and ceremony and without clatter and show, the Tennessee Medical College yesterday morning inaugurated its first preliminary term of lectures.  At 10 o’clock the first bell sounded for the first lecture ever delivered in the new college, and a large gathering composed of members of the faculty, and representatives of the medical profession of the city, with twenty students, assembled in the upper lecture room to listen to a lecture by Dr. C. C. Lancaster, professor of physiology.  The Dean, Dr. Cawood made a brief speech in his usual happy style, inaugurating the preliminary term and welcoming the students to the halls of the college.  He then introduced Dr. Lancaster to the class.

Dr. Lancaster delivered an able lecture upon general physiology dealing especially with organic and inorganic life.  The lecturer held the interest of his auditors from the beginning to the end.  Before entering upon the subject of the lecture, he said:

Gentlemen — We meet you to-day according to our announcement to open the preliminary session of the Tennessee Medical College.  We come without ostentations [sic] parade or ceremony, quietly to begin our work.  We promise you gentlemen, faithful service, and we ask of you in return faithful work.  You have chosen a profession high and noble to enter upon whose duties unprepared and unqualified, is little less than a crime.  We enter upon our work as teachers with a full sense of our responsibilities, and we are resolved to do our whole duty as best we can.  We shall endeavor to give you every facility and every help and every encouragement, and to awaken your deepest interest and earnest enthusiasm in the persuit [sic] of studies which are to prepare you for the responsible duties of your chosen profession.

Dr. Lancaster’s manner was easy, and his annunciation distinct.  His lecture bore evidences of much work and investigation in the subject upon which he lectured.  At the close of Dr. Lancaster’s lecture Dr. R. M. C. Hill, professor of materia medica and therapeutics, was introduced by the dean, and delivered a carefully prepared and concise lecture upon the history and advance of materia medica and therapeutics.

Dr. Hill’s lecture was replete with interesting facts in the history of the subject and gained for him the praises of all that heard him.  After Dr. Hill’s lecture, the audience was shown through the building a descripition [sic] of which will interest our readers.

No better building could have been selected for a Medical College than the old Cowan and Dickinson structure at the corner of Gay and Main streets.  The building is of brick and at the time of its erection was considered the finest and most imposing business house in the South.  Recent repairs and changes have so metamorphosed the old building that its appearance is that of a modern structure.  A new coat of paint on the exterior and the scrubbing the old marble columns have received, makes the college look as if a new building had taken the place of the old land mark of a few months ago.

Upon entering the college one sees greater changes within than are shown on the outside.  The interior has been altered to meet the needs of the college.  On the left of the main hall on the second floor is a large lecture room with a seating capacity of a hundred.  The seats are placed in the form of an amphitheater, so that the student who occupies the rear seat, has a perfect view of the lecturer.  Adjoining the lecture room is the chemical laboratory, filled with all of the modern appliances for teaching chemistry.  Across the main hall are offices for the use of the dean, registar [sic] and janitor.  The polyclinic also on this floor.

Going further up the dissecting room is found.  This room extends all the way across the building and is well adapted to its purpose.  In this room are six dissecting tables accomodating [sic] thirty students.  In the rear of the dissecting room is the injecting room and preserving vats for subjects or “stiffs” as the medical student calls them.  Here the subjects are embalmed and stored for use in the dissecting and operative surgery rooms.  The dental laboratory is also on this floor.

On the third floor was found another lecture room with seats constructed upon amphitheatre plan.  In this room the surgical clinics will be held as also didactic lectures.  Back of this lecture room and entered from the main hall is the Pathological and Microscopical laboratory equipped with tables and means of pathological and microscopical investigation.  On the north side of the hall is the Dental operating laboratory — a large, well lighted and airy room to be used by the dental students in filling and extracting teeth.  Across a side hall is the operative surgery and bandaging room.

The college starts out with a large class and its future success is assured.  The size of the class demonstrates the need of a medical college in East Tennessee and we congratulate the founders of Tennessee Medical college upon its unprecedentedly favorable beginning.

Knoxville is the center of a large territory heretofore unoccupied by a medical school.

Students are daily arriving, and it is expected that by the first of October, when the regular winter term begins, a large class will be in attendance.

The faculty is composed of men well qualified to successfully conduct a medical college.  The enterprise is one that every citizen of Knoxville should be proud of.

Below is given the order of lectures for September:

Mondays, Drs. Lancaster and R. M. C. Hill.

Tuesdays, Dr. Drake and Mrs. Slocum.

Wednesdays, Drs. Cawood and J. W. Hill.

Thursdays, Drs. Masters and Ristine.

Fridays, Drs. Bowen, Campbell and Mr. Gibson.

Saturdays, Drs. Richards and Kesterson.

The lectures will be given at 10 and 11 a.m.

Daily clinics are held from 12 to 1 o’clock.

The founders of the college have organized a dental department with a full faculty and during the regular winter course will give didactic and clinical lectures.  The prospects for a large class in this department are good.

It is the determination of the faculty to maintain a high standard of qualification in every department before the diploma of the college will be conferred.  The Journal joins most heartily in wishing the college a full share of success and believes it will merit it.

Source:  Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, September 3, 1889, page 5

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